Synopsis: At the Magnolia train station, Natsu and Gray both continue to worry about why Erza might have needed them. They get into a fight over it, and Lucy shouts for them to quit causing trouble. Natsu asks why she came along anyway, and Lucy explains that Mirajane asked her to come and keep everyone from fighting with each other.
Erza shows up carrying a huge amount of luggage on her own, and Lucy introduces herself to Erza, who says that Lucy should be fine on this mission based on how well she did in her last mission, even though this one is even riskier - prompting Lucy to freak out, as most of the last mission's success actually hinged on Natsu.
Natsu then pipes in and says that he'll come along with Erza on only one condition - she has to give him a re-match when they get back. Erza agrees, and even asks Gray if he'd like a re-match - he declines immediately - and the group sets off.
Unfortunately for Natsu, they leave by train, and he's immediately struck by his 'traveling sickness'. Erza invites him to sit next to her to calm down, but her idea of calming him involves punching him hard in the stomach to knock him out temporarily.
As they ride, Lucy comments that she hasn't seen what kind of magic anyone else in the guild uses, and Happy remarks that Erza's magic is beautiful, because of how much blood it causes to flow. Erza comments that Gray's is more beautiful, and he gives Lucy an example by forming the Fairy Tail symbol out of ice in his hand. Lucy is struck by a moment of brilliance, and theorizes that the reason Natsu and Gray can't get along is because of their opposite elements, though Gray brushes that off, and turns the topic towards the mission at hand.
Erza explains that after her last mission, she stopped at a mage bar in Onibas, where a rowdy group of men caught her attention. She overhears onen of them say that they had found the hidden "lullaby" but it was sealed and they can't break it. A different man says that they can't break the seal just with numbers, so they should leave it to him and head back to the guild to tell Eligor that he'll come back with the Lullaby in three days.
Gray and Lucy wonder what the Lullaby is, and Erza guesses that it probably contains some powerful magic since it's currently sealed. Gray suggests that maybe the item's nothing special and unsealing it is just their job, but Erza says she already considered that and dismissed it when she remembered the name Eligor - Eligor was an ace mage from the Eisenwald guild. He was given the nickname 'Shinigami' because he kept taking up assassination requests, even though that's against the law. Because of that, the entire guild was ousted from the league and declared a Dark Guild six years ago. Lucy asks why the guild wasn't punished as well as being ousted, and Erza explains that their master was arrested and they were ordered to disband, but like most Dark Guilds, it ignored the order and kept on it's own way.
Erza says she would have killed them all then if she'd remembered the name Eligor in time, and Gray realizes that she needs their help because now they'll be facing an entire guild. Erza says they can't overlook what Eisenwald may be planning, so they'll make their strike. During this conversation, the three of them, plus Happy, had gotten off the train, and only then does Lucy notice that Natsu isn't with them.
Back on the train, a man sits down next to Natsu, and immediately realizes due to his marking that he's from Fairy Tail, a 'regular' guild. The man, revealed to be not only the man who has Lullaby but also the Kageyama that Eligor is waiting for, says he envies Natsu.
Thoughts: If the last chapter was the introduction to this new arc, then this chapter is the set-up. In fact, if this were one of those longer, starting chapters, then the last chapter and this one would probably have been one and the same. I prefer them in smaller sized bites like this myself though.
Lucy tagging along was kind of obvious, so I'm not really sure we needed a reason like her being asked to mediate to buy into it - but I guess it's just another way to flesh the story out.
Speaking of Lucy, the top for her new outfit in this arc highlights her cleavage quite a bit - she's definitely miss fan-service now. Not that I'm complaining or anything.
Mashima is giving us tons upon tons of hints about how tough Erza really is, between how terrified Gray is of her and the way she carries her massive amount of luggage by herself. And that's not to mention her personality - I really can't wait to see her in a fight to see what she can do.
The idea that Lucy had gotten more than her share of credit for the Duke case came up a little bit in the last chapter, and in a way I'm hoping that kind of gag will continue. It could prove hilarious if, as Lucy grows more powerful as a mage, she has a reputation that shows her as much greater than she is.
Natsu wanting a rematch with Erza is actually kind of surprising, given how terrified of her he seems to be, but it does seem to fit his character. Gray on the other hand, doesn't seem willing to overcome his fear of Erza just yet. Then again...Natsu possibly got into a fight with Erza of his own free will the first time around, whereas Gray got beaten up for walking around naked and poor Loki got beaten up for hitting on her.
Gray's powers being ice and juxtaposing against Natsu's is a little cliche, but I think ther'e smore to their bickering than that, just as Gray suggests, so I'm expecting more to come on their history together.
I'm really interested in what this 'Lullaby' item might turn out to be, though just going off of the name, I'm assuming it is somehow sleep related, like Lucy guesses. If a dark guild like Eisenwals is interested in it though, they're up to no good with it regardless of it's powers though.
And apparently 'Shinigami' isn't Eligor's name, it's just a title. It seems kind of arbitrary that it's against the rules for mages to take assassination requests, but it's perfectly okay to take theft ones apparently. I'm not saying the two crimes are at all equal, but still.
So apparently Erza's plan is to just march into Eisenwald - maybe her and Natsu aren't so dissimilar after all.
Kageyama's look as he says he envies Natsu is a little weird. It's hard for me to tell if he's truly that earnest and wishes he wasn't in a dark guild anymore, or if this is going to be some kind of trick. I could honestly see this going either way - which brings me to my predictions.
I was right that we'd see why Erza needs their help, and of course Lucy and Happy both tagged along. It was a close call, but we did end up seeing Kageyama after all. The gorgeous woman that the Eisenwald mages was Erza too - okay, this one isn't 100% certain I guess, as it wasn't said that it was her they saw, but considering her looks and the fact that she overheard them talking, it seems like it has to be her. So I did great on the last set of predictions.
As for predictions going into next time, I'm thinking we'll see at least a little bit of fighting. We haven't gotten any really in the last two chapters, and while it's by no means been boring, this is a shonen fighting manga - there's gotta be some more fighting pretty soon. I have no idea as to who will do the fighting though...maybe Erza, but I'm guessing she's going to prove her stuff in a fight against a ton of opponents, of which we don't have any right now, so her fight probably comes later. As I said before, I think there's more to Natsu and Gray's relationship than opposing elements, but I don't think we'll find out what it is next chapter - though we may by the end of this arc. My major prediction is about Kageyma, though it's more vague guesses going in two different directions. If he really is wanting out of his guild and wants a more peaceful life, than he'll probably offer to help Natsu and the gang get into his old guild to take them down. He'll probably get dramatically injured at some point along the way though. Now, if Kageyama is up to something though, it will either be exactly like I said before (up to him getting hurt anyway) and it's all a trick; or we're going to see his true face pretty soon, and it'll be him and Natsu that get into a fight.
That's all I've got, we'll see how good I did in the next chapter.