Synopsis: Using Happy's 'Wings' magic to fly to the roof, Natsu asks Lucy why they have to sneak in. Lucy says that because what they're doing is basically robbery, they have to sneak in, despite Natsu's complaints that this isn't what he'd planned at all. Lucy says they can't just go blasting their way in because the Duke isn't a 'villain', but is an influential, albeit annoyingly perverted, man, and if they mess up the military will take action. Natsu brings up Lucy wanting revenge, and she says that she'll hide his shoes in addition to them burning the book, which Natsu and Happy find incredibly petty.
Natsu heats up his hand to melt a hole in a window, and opens it for them to go into a room full of stuff, including a small skull that Happy puts on as a helmet. Lucy says they should exit through the door if nobody is around, but unbeknownst to her, someone is already watching them via a crystal ball. Happy checks outside the door, and says nobody is there. Natsu is annoyed that they'll have to check every room and wants to just ask someone where the book is, but Lucy says they need to complete the mission without being noticed, and tries to sell Natsu on the idea by saying they're playing ninja.
Suddenly, the five hideous maids erupt from the floor, all but the giant one carrying spears. The big one says they must eliminate the intruders, but Natsu quickly wraps his scarf around his face and kicks them all away while proclaiming that they are ninja, him and Happy (who lost the skull in the commotion) even performing hand-signs afterwards while repeating 'nin nin'. Lucy says they're the noisiest ninja she's ever seen.
Fearing that more are sure to follow, Lucy drags Natsu into another room despite his protests, and this time they find one filled to the brim with books. Lucy tries to look over the books with interest, while Natsu and Happy noisily look for 'Day Break', and eventually find it. Natsu wants to immediately burn it, but Lucy stops him upon seeing the author's name is Kemu Zaleon, one of her favorite writers (who was also a mage). Natsu still wants to burn it to complete the job, but Lucy realizes she hasn't read or heard of this book, making it an unpublished one-of-a-kind that she has to have for herself, even though Natsu accuses her of abandoning the mission if she does that.
The Duke himself gets the jump on them this time, jumping from the ground again as he realizes what they and the previous mages had been after. The Duke is surprised that it's that worthless book, which shocks Lucy considering how much the bounty on it is. She asks if she can just keep it then, but the Duke turns her down flat, with Natsu still insisting that they have to burn it. Lucy sits down on the ground, determined to read it first. Enraged, the Duke calls on the Vanish Brothers, who appear from behind a hidden entrance behind the bookshelves, as the taller one says they have to complete their work or 'mama' will be mad at them.
Happy realizes that the Vanish Brothers are from the Southern Wolves, a Mercenary rather than Mage guild, after seeing the marks on their arms. Natsu is surprised that the Duke would hire someone like that, and the Duke commands them to kill the intruders. Throughout all of this, Lucy remains rooted to the ground and reading, much to the dismay and shock of everyone else in the room. The Duke commands again for them to retrieve the book and kill our heroes, but suddenly Lucy has a realization from what she's read, and springs into action. She runs out of the room, telling Natsu to give her some time, as she has to finish reading the book because it holds some kind of secret. The Duke is shocked at this, having never noticed such a thing when he read it, so he decides to follow her himself - burrowing through the floor again instead of using the door she went through - and leaves the Vanish brothers to kill Natsu.
Natsu tells Happy to go after Lucy, even though Happy wants to assist him with foes this dangerous. Natsu insists that he'll be fine on his own, enraging the taller Brother who threatens to 'tell Mama', as the smaller one tells him to calm down. Happy leaves to go help Lucy, and the Brothers reveal that it was them watching from the crystal ball, so they know all about Natsu's flame magic, Lucy's Keys, and Happy's wings. Natsu says that if they know about his powers and still want to fight, that must mean they're ready to get burned. The small Brother declines, at last pulling the large weapon he's had on his back the whole time out, to reveal a giant frying pan. He declares that flame mages are the easiest of opponents for him, but Natsu doesn't seem worried.
Thoughts: Apparently Natsu did want to just rush in after all, so he really does have some standard Luffy/Goku type ideas about what a 'smart' plan of action is after all. Thankfully Lucy was there to be smarter...you know, for once.
While I can agree that Natsu wanting to burn the whole place down just to destroy the book is a bit overboard, I had to facepalm at Lucy wanting to hide the Duke's shoes. Yeah, that'll teach him! ...*shakes head* Anyway, they mentioned in the first chapter as well about how the military can take action depending on what the mage's do, so I wonder if they work for the Council, or are a separate entity from any kind of mage group? I'm also assuming that they're essentially knights, since that's how they appeared in chapter 1.
I'm not really sure what to think of the gag with Happy and the skull. It's kind of cute, but it doesn't really lead anywhere at all, so it seems rather pointless really. Ah well, it didn't take away from anything either, so no harm no foul.
Lucy trying to get Natsu to agree to sneaking around by telling him it'd make them like ninja was one of the highlights of this chapter, as I knew immediately that he'd take to it. I wasn't disappointed either, with him taking it almost a little too literally too.
I didn't mention it in the summary since I wasn't really sure how it was meant to be taken, but when Natsu finds Day Break, he refers to it as a 'golden book'. It doesn't seem like any of them realize that it's Day Break at first, so I'm assuming he didn't mean that in a figurative sense, but is it actaully made of gold, or is it just golden colored? It does have sparkles coming off of it, so maybe it actually is gold?
Lucy being a big fan of the author who wrote 'Day Break' was great, her being a reader gave me a brand new respect for her honestly. What can I say, I love good authors and good readers. Still, I wasn't expecting this to come up at all, so this is a welcome deepening of the plot that's sure to complicate things.
Apparently bursting through the floor after you've burrowed around like a mole is the normal in the Duke's house, as both himself and his maids do it again in this chapter. They're clearly crazy bastards, but I love it.
Natsu seems rather steadfast in wanting to complete the mission by destroying the book, and I'm not sure if it's just him being narrow-minded, or dedicated to the job. A mix of both perhaps?
The guards are revealed at last, but other than 'Vanish Brothers', we don't really get a name for them. Nothing to go by to tell them apart by name, so I'm at a loss for what to do there. I'll have to keep referring to them as just the 'bigger' or 'smaller' ones until we get some proper names. Either way, the larger one seems to have a penchant for 'mama'. Is it their own biological mother though, or the head of their guild? Are they even true 'brothers' at all for that matter? They certainly don't resemble one another.
I was interested to learn that there were guilds for things other than mages too. It sort of makes me wonder what else exists in this world other than the mages.
The plot deepens even more with the revelation that there's some 'secret' in the book. The Duke didn't know about it, so...maybe it's something that Melon doesn't want to get out? That means either that he knew Zaleon, or was him under a false name - or Melon is a fake name - and perhaps has a dirty secret that makes the Duke look like nothing?
I had assumed the smaller brother's weapon was a mace or something, but it actually turning out to be a giant frying pan left me trying to figure out what he's possibly going to do with it. It should prove interesting, especially given the correlation between that and Natsu's fire abilities, given the function of a frying pan. The guy does say that fire mages are nothing to him...hmm.
No idea how tough the Vanish Brothers are yet, so I'm sticking to my belief that they're going to be pretty tough. Since Natsu is facing both alone however...less tough than I'd presumed. I'm now thinking they'll give him a run for his money, but won't be too awfully tough. I was wrong that Lucy would take one on it looks like, but I was right that it looks like Happy's going ot help her out. So now I'm thinking Natsu will fight the guards for a good chunk of the next chapter, but not defeat them just yet, while Lucy has to contend with the Duke alongside Lucky. Maybe a game of whack-a-mole is in order.