Friday, March 1, 2013

Fairy Tail - Chapter 8: Lucy V.S. The Duke of Evaroo

Synopsis: The Duke is offended by Lucy's accusation that he's an enemy of literature, proclaiming himself to be highly educated. Lucy makes a crack about his taste in women, and he pulls on her arms giving her pain. He demands to know what the secret is, and Lucy's keys are out of reach on the floor, but she refuses to answer. He threatens to break her arms if she won't talk, but she sticks her tongue out at him. He says that both the book and the secret are rightfully his anyway, as he was the one who made Kemu Zaleon write it in the first place. Lucy is shocked at this, but before either can speak again, Happy arrives and dropkicks the Duke in the head, allowing Lucy to get away.

Lucy thanks Happy, who jumps into a nearby drainage of water, which Lucy informs him is sewage. She holds one of her keys out towards the Duke, saying that the tables have turned and if he gives her the book, maybe he'll forgive her. The Duke remarks on her being a Stellar Spirit mage and a fan of literature, but chastises her for misusing the phrase, saying one should only say 'the tables have turned' when it's to their advantage. He proclaims that she won't be able to defeat his 'Diver' magic just because of Happy's presence, and dives back through the ground.

Happy is surprised that the Duke is a mage, even if it does explain what he's been doing. Lucy says it was written about in 'Day Break', which is a horrible novel with the Duke as the main character. The Duke says him being the lead is the best part, but the contents are crap even if Kemu Zaleon wrote them. Lucy asks how he can act so high and mighty when he forced Zaleon to write it in the first place, but he says that he really is high and mighty and that Zaleon should have treated it as an honor, and what he did to make Zaleon concede was his own fault for ever refusing in the first place.

After Zaleon refused to write the novel the first time, the Duke said he would reject the citizenship of all of his relatives, rendering them unable to get any type of work. Happy wonders how the Duke even has that much power, but Lucy says that some parts of the land still operate under feudalism, so that even a guy like the Duke can have absolute authority.

The Duke dives back into the ground again after he and Lucy have continued to attack and dodge each other throughout this conversation, and shoots his arm out of the ground to grab her ankle. He says that in the end, Zaleon caved and wrote the book, but angry at being rejected even once, he forced the writer to write the book in a solitary cell over three years, crushing his pride as a writer. Lucy asks him how he could go so far to get what he wants, and if he can imagine how Zaleon must have felt. The Duke says he realized how great he (the Duke) was, but Lucy says it was it was a fight with his own pride, that wouldn't allow him to write a proper novel about such a person even if his family was in danger.

The Duke is perplexed at how Lucy knows so much, and she says it was all in the book. The Duke says he's read the book and that's not true, but Lucy explains that you wouldn't notice unless you released the magic on the book. Using the last of his magic, Zaleon had cast a spell on the novel to reveal it's true written form only after the magic had been undone. Lucy says the main purpose of the novel was never about the Duke, but the real 'truth' is something else entirely, which is why she cannot give him back the book.

Lucy angrily uses her key to summon Cancer the Crab, a man wearing sunglasses and holding a pair of scissors in each hand, crab legs growing out of his back, and his hair styled like pincers. Happy is overjoyed to see Cancer, assuming that he will speak by saying 'Kani' (meaning 'Crab') at the end of his sentences, but he disappoints both by asking Lucy what hairstyle she'd like today and ending his sentence with 'Ebi' (meaning 'Shrimp') instead. Lucy tells Cancer not to worry about that and to take down the Duke instead.

The Duke begins to worry about the 'truth' in the book, wondering if it's about the illegal nature of his business. If such a thing got out, he'd be ruined, so he angrily whips out a Key of his own and summons 'Virgo'. Lucy and Happy are shocked that he's also a Stellar Spirit Mage, and even more shocked when Virgo is revealed to be the huge maid, who crashes down with Natsu holding on to the back of her uniform. Natsu explains that she had started to move all of a sudden, so he 'followed' her, then before he knew it and without realizing what was happening, they were there. Lucy realizes that by 'followed' he meant he 'grabbed' her, which means he traveled through the Stellar Spirit World, which should be impossible.

Natsu asks Lucy waht he should do as the Duke commands Virgo to take them all down. Lucy tells him to take down the maid, and he does with a brutal punch to the face. Lucy finally pulls out the whip she carries with her, and manages to catch the Duke around the neck with it while he's in shock, to stop him from burrowing anywhere. She whipps him up into the air towards Cancer, proclaiming that he shouldn't be anything more than a supporting character. He crashlands unconcious onto his maid, before his mustache, eyebrows, and what little hair he had all falls off as Cancer asks Lucy if she likes this haircut.

Natsu and Happy laugh happily while Lucy clings to Day Break, and Natsu commends Lucy on a job well done, saying that she's truly a mage of Fairy Tail.

Thoughts: The revelation that the Duke made Zaleon write this book took me by surprise, but now it's all starting to fit together in my mind. The Duke, in the arrogant mindframe that he lives his life in, forced Melon - who is actually Zaleon - to write this awesome book about how totally awesome he was, but he hid something else in secret in the book, and now Zaleon wants to unleash the truth within!

...At least, that was my first thought, until I stepped back and looked at the rest of the evidence we have so far. Zaleon used 'the last of his magic' to put the truth in the book secretly. That sounds an awful lot like he died to me. And I can't imagine the Duke letting him go free when he could probably report his illegal incarceration, couldn't he? So Zaleon probably isn't Melon at all. But if so, who the heck is Melon and how is he connected to all of this? Also, if the two had been the same, then what would Zaleon have gained from the book being destroyed along with this secret? It's all really curious, and even as we get more pieces of the puzzle, we're not entirely sure how it all connects just yet.

Happy saves the day, and continues to be a weird cat. I mean, talking and growing wings are one thing, but willingly jumping into water? That's just crazy. Not to mention it being sewage...I had no idea that Lucy had gone into a sewer from somewhere in the house until that moment though, so maybe it was mostly done to give us a better grasp of what the background scenery here meant?

I was surprised at first that it was a type of magic the Duke was using, but it makes more sense than him just randomly being able to burrow everywhere without magic really.

So the book 'Day Break' is actually about the Duke, right down to his use of 'Diver' magic. That makes me wonder why it's called 'Day Break' then, but I have a feeling we'll find out why it's titled that. I wonder exactly what about the book is 'crap' though, that both Lucy and the Duke don't seem pleased after reading it.

It might sound silly to some people, but I can actually fully understand the notion of 'writer's pride'. I often struggle with the thought of it myself, and how would I handle certain things if I ever get that far as a writer. Anyone can say that, if they had just finished writing a book, that they wouldn't allow their agents to suggest changes to it that would make it easier to be printed, but would you really? Getting published is the goal of any author, so whether you'd really be able to stand your ground on something like that is a really sticky question. It's not always about artistic integrity. All that aside, being forced to be in the cell and write for three years must have been hard on Zaleon.

Cancer the Crab wasn't anything like I'd been expecting. I had been picturing an actual crab of some sort, but instead we get a weird barber guy who says 'shrimp' after everything...I 'LOL'd'. With Lucy's reaction to his first question about hair styles, I can't help but wonder if she usually uses him to get free haircuts or something.

I'm also left wondering the exact nature of the Duke's business that's illegal and he doesn't want found out. He locked up an innocent man for three years, so it's obvious he's a pretty unscrupulous guy, but what else is he up to?

I hadn't been expecting the maid to actually be a Stellar Spirit at all, but then again, I hadn't expected the Duke to be that type of mage either. Since he can do that and Diver magic both, I guess you really can use multiple types if you want. But wait...the maid also sprung from the ground before, so is Virgo also able to use 'Diver'? And what of the four other maids? We don't see them here, so I have to assume they're real people and not Stellar Spirits, but they seemingly were using 'Diver' as well.

And of course Natsu grabbed hold of the maid's uniform to see where she was going, he's that kind of guy. Based on the freaked out look on his face when they first arrive, you have to wonder how much of the Stellar Spirit world he got to see, and what it's like.

In the end, Natsu takes out the maid again with a single punch. I guess it's not really a letdown since he's already taken care of her with ease before now, but after it being revealed that she's a spirit, I was expecting a little more honestly. I'm not disappointed with how Lucy's fight with the Duke went however. There was a lot of exposition that the two had to trade in this chapter, but Lucy still managed to get quite the badass moment in the end, showing that even without her spirits she's a force to be reckoned with. As Natsu said, she really is a worthy addition to Fairy Tail after all, and I'm glad that we finally got to see what she's capable of.

The Duke actually did turn out to be a contender, at least for someone of Lucy's level, so she did need Happy's help after all - but only briefly. For the most part she did handle this herself, so I'm not really sure how to call my prediction there. I guess mostly wrong since he actually was pretty tough. The maid did re-appear, but didn't really do anything after all. And it's looking like I was wrong about the chapters left, because now I'm thinking this was the final battle chapter, and the next one will be the 'bookend'. Unless...

Okay, here's my new set of predictions. We either do have two chapters left, or just one. If we have two left, it'll be because Melon really is up to something crafty, and they're going to have to deal with him in the next chapter. Possibly Natsu will even need Lucy and Happy's help to take him down, though I'd say more because of something he has up his sleeve rather than him being that strong. Don't know how his wife would play into this. Or, if this next chapter is the last one for this storyline, then Melon isn't a bad guy at all, and we mostly just get a lot of talking. Either way, I say we definitely find out what the 'truth' in the book is next time.

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