Synopsis: After thinking about it, Lucy decides that this job seems like it should be pretty easy, and Happy asks why she's so gung-ho about it when she didn't like it at first, to which she says it's because it's her first job. Lucy also says she's confident in her sexiness, so pulling one over on the perverted duke should be easy - however, she's still going to be taking most of the reward, at an 8:1:1 ratio, though Happy misunderstands and thinks she means she's only taking a 10% of it.
The three soon arrive in Shirotsume Town, and Natsu immediately wants to get something to eat. Lucy asks him why he doesn't just eat his own fire. Natsu retorts by asking if she eats her own summons, and says it's the same principle. She says he and Happy should go eat then, because she has something to take care of. Natsu says it's more fun to eat as a group, but he 'kindly' decides to save the oilier pieces of meat for her, since surely she'd love those. Lucy arrives shortly there-after, clad in a maid uniform and shows off how cute she looks in it. Natsu and Happy however freak out and whisper loudly to themselves about how the maid idea had been a joke, but they can't tell her that now, only for her to overhear them anyway.
They then go to the mansion of the client, who asks them to enter from the back door. Kirby Melon and his wife let them in, and the name 'Melon' along with the town reminds Lucy of something that she can't quite put her finger on. Melon is surprised that mages from a guild as huge as Fairy Tail would accept his proposal, especially when he learns Natsu's nickname of Salamander, saying he's heard of him. He doesn't recognize Lucy however, and wonders if cosplay is a hobby of hers.
As they begin to discuss the mission, Melon changes it slightly, saying that instead of stealing the only copy of 'Day Break' from Evaroo, they should simply incinerate it. Natsu suggests just burning the whole place down, but Lucy freaks out on him. She ponders what the book really is, and Melon mentions the new price of two million jewels for completing this mission. The gang naturally freaks, and Lucy wants to know why the price has gone up so high. Melon simply responds that he can't forgive the book's existence. Lucy senses there's more to it, but Natsu, burning with passion, drags her away to head for the Duke's mansion. Melon's wife asks if it's okay to give this job to kids after another guild failed last time, but Melon says he really needs the book destroyed.
Having arrived at the Duke's mansion, Lucy goes to the front gate to apply for the blonde-haired maid job, thinking it'll be easy. Out of nowhere however, a huge, ugly woman in a maid's uniform bursts from the ground, followed shortly by the Duke himself. Lucy turns on her charm to win over the Duke while covering her guild mark with one hand, but the Duke dismisses her, calling her 'ugly'. He explains that for someone as great as himself, only beautiful girls may surround him, as four more even more hideous maids pop out of the ground. Dejected, Lucy returns to Natsu and Happy who say that was a useless attempt as Lucy desperately tries to explain what a horrible sense of beauty the Duke has. Natsu declares that this calls for a change of plans, as Lucy swears her revenge.
In the Duke's mansion, the Duke wonders why more mages have come after the last's failure, and mages from Fairy Tail no less - it seems he saw Lucy's mark before she could cover it. He says the least they could do is send a beautiful mage instead of someone ugly, and then wonders how he should have them killed this time, as two large figures stand in the shadows behind him.
Thoughts: I was actually not surprised at all to see Lucy get so into the mission after coping with the fact that she was going to be used as bait. I mean, that many jewels for so simple a job, AND she gets to flaunt what she's got? That's right up her alley. And as usual, Happy's screwing with her about various things amuses me to no end. I love that little jerk.
I actually hadn't wondered about whether Natsu could or couldn't eat the fire he produced, but since it's a 'magic' fire, he has a valid point as to how it'd be like Lucy trying to eat one of her summons. Although, he ate the fire off of Bora's attack in chapter one...so I guess it's more of an 'I can't eat my OWN magic' thing rather.
And of course Lucy has to dress up in a cute maid outfit. Why? Because fan-service, that's why. Kidding aside, it would make sense I suppose if you wanted to seem like you really, really wanted that job.
And it all pays off with Natsu and Happy having never meant her to do it in the first place. She's so abused, heh.
Melon's design threw me for a loop the minute I saw him, and it took me forever to figure out why. He's kind of got a Hitler look going on, complete with the distinctive mustache. Just from that alone, I'm immediately wary about this guy, even if he is the client. That compounded with how desperate he is for the book to be destroyed just makes me think something shady is going on.
Oh, and Lucy's vague recognition of his name helps too. There's definitely something more going on with this guy than we know right now.
I was already thinking that the gang won't get the reward in the end, and with how happy and freaked out they are about it, I can almost say with certainty now that they won't be seeing any of that cash. It's way too absurd of a reward for them to get sadly.
Going back to my suspicions about Melon, I am a little open to give him the benefit of the doubt. The part with his wife and him alone, he does give off this desperate but sad vibe when he talks about how badly he wants the book gone...but if he's not up to something, why the Hitler-like design? Either way, I know there's something else going on behind the scenes here.
This might be my absolute favorite chapter thus far, between the insane way the Duke pops out of the ground and his "beautiful" maids. I almost choked on my drink when I saw them. And I'm not calling them ugly to be mean, but...yeah. You'd have to see them to know, it's pretty scary.
Still, the insanity makes me love the Duke already, even if he's as oily as they come.
Now the question becomes how are the gang going to get inside the building? Happy says something about 'charging', but surely they're not going to just storm the front gate? Natsu's not THAT bad...is he? Either way, it looks like they've got some decent foes waiting to face off with them, just behind the Duke.
Now for last time's predictions. I was right that we didn't get to see a new summon just yet, I figured he didn't want to over-saturate it just yet. We didn't see any summons at all however. For new predictions, I'm sticking to my belief that they're not gonna be two million jewels richer at the end of this. I think the Duke's shadowed bodyguards are going to be pretty tough. Since there's seemingly only the two of them...Natsu fights one, while Lucy has to prove herself with the other, perhaps with Happy's assistance? It's not like Natsu needs the help. I'm also thinking that they're not going to just storm their way in to get to those guards, they'll probably try something else. And...we probably won't see much of any of the fights next chapter, that will come in the following one.