In the capital city of the Alvarez Empire, Vistarion, Makarov and the minister, Yajeel, discuss and converse on Fairy Tail's revival and the stupendous hospitality extended towards Makarov, who is currently their guest. Just as Yajeel mentions that the emperor is befitting of much kindness but is rare to catch due to his love of travel, the citizens in the streets begin to celebrate the return of their beloved sovereign. The two elder gentlemen head out to witness the spectacle, but Makarov is shocked to see that the emperor is none other than Zeref himself.
Zeref, known as Emperor Spriggan, returns to his castle and and greets Invel, whom he orders to gather the Spriggan 12. One after another, four of the Shields, Invel, Dimaria Yesta, Ajeel Raml, and August, are greeted by Their Majesty on his homecoming. Yajeel greets His Majesty as well, directing him to Makarov, who kneels in his presence, requesting to speak to him in private. As such, Zeref and Makarov go somewhere private and talk, with Zeref revealing that he is indeed the Emperor of Alvarez, having created the country and kingdom a long time ago, with the intention of gathering force to counter Acnologia, as well as to capture the Lumen Histoire, precisely known as Fairy Heart. Zeref also uncovers that he will start the real Dragon King Festival: a war between the humans, Acnologia and himself to see who survives, initiating a complete annihilation.
Makarov barks at him that he will never succeed, causing Zeref to attack him with his Magic, thanking him for raising Natsu. Before he can deliver the final blow, however, Mest suddenly warps in, grabs Makarov and teleports away back to the forest where Team Natsu is waiting. As Mest recovers, he informs the group that he saw Zeref, much to Natsu's anger. Makarov laments his pointless actions, but Team Natsu assures him that it doesn't matter, Natsu extending his hand to help him stand up. However, Ajeel quickly finds the perpetrators, whose power over sand allowed him to track the group. With Mest only able to use one Direct Line for reaching the shore to jump to Sorano's vehicle, Makarov orders everyone to run as they cannot take him on. The Mages make a run towards the Magical Vehicle, Erza flings swords at the sand Mage, before the group takes off. Ajeel states that he is impressed to see Makarov's army as the swords dissolve on contact with his body.
The wild goose chase begins, as the Fairy Tail Mages increase their speed to escape the Spriggan 12. Ajeel then creates his very own Sand Golem to catch them. Gray and Lucy utilize their powers to intercept his attack, summoning their Demon's coat and Sagittarius Form Star Dress respectively, which garners much surprise to Makarov, stating that their Magic is nothing like that from a year ago. Gray then freezes Ajeel's Golem with his Ice-Make, much to Ajeel's surprise, but he rather shows glee at the fact that he was able to achieve that. He then uses his sand to create sand monsters, which Lucy shoots down with multiple arrows to defend the carriage. Ajeel then disappears below the ground and attempts to sink and drain the Fairy Tail Mages into a sand pit, with the Mages struggling to escape. Ajeel then laughs at their demise, boasting that he has killed countless Mages, destroyed numerous cities with this pit, able to swallow anything in its grasp without the chance to escape. He then says that they never had a chance to stand before him, mocking their current levels. As he mocks that Ishgar is nothing but a land abandoned by the gods, Natsu creates a massive explosion with his Fire Dragon Slayer Magic, which eventually evaporates the sand, much to Ajeel's astonishment, whereafter Natsu proceeds to land a hit on the Shield of Spriggan.
Blowing back the sand Mage, Ajeel states that it has been long since he felt a good hit, causing him to become massively giddy as he attempts to drain out the Mages again. Gray goes to parry his sand, but it is wiped away while Ajeel again deplores his Magic to cover them all, causing Makarov to attack him, declaring that he won't allow him to harm his children. Ajeel then tries to explain the power of the Spriggan 12, summoning a gigantic wave of sand that stuns the Mages. As the tidal wave of sand closes in, a bolt of lightning comes in contact with the sand and eventually dissipates it, revealing to come from Laxus, who has arrived via Christina to assist his fellow guildmates. Mest quickly teleports them to the ship, not long after Ajeel then tries to stop them, albeit to no avail as he is counterattacked by Laxus, who shoots an enormous thunderbolt of lightning at him before retreating. As the dust clears, Ajeel is somewhat in awe of their power, but is greeted by his comrade August, who he claimed that he was the one who put up the magical barrier that shielded him. August comments that it would be a saddening loss to lose a comrade, causing the violent Mage to retort back by saying he's going senile if he thought the attack would have killed him. From afar, Zeref states that everyone has been put in motion. In the meantime, on the ship, everyone reconciles with their retrieved Guild Master, the latter stating that Fairy Tail is the greatest family that anyone can ask for.
Everyone returns safely back to Magnolia and the guild hall celebrates the return of Makarov. Erza quickly gives up her position as the Guild Master to Makarov, now making him the eighth in accordance. Later, Makarov apologizes to his members for his actions in disbanding the guild, to which he is quickly forgiven due to everyone's understanding of his reasons behind it. He warns them that Alvarez will soon be coming for them, although Natsu assures him that the guild will fight for their future, something that everyone cheers in unison about. Makarov mentions he has something to say to everyone, but is intercepted by the First Master, Mavis, who wants to details the events of her past sins herself, beginning to talk of a tale of a cursed boy and a cursed girl.
- Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 444, Pages 14-20
- Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 445, Pages 1-17
- Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 445, Pages 18-19
- Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 446, Pages 1-12
- Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 446, Pages 12-29
- Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 447, Pages 1-19
- Fairy Tail Manga: Chapter 448, Page 1-19