I’m as fired up as Natsu’s “Come on” text!
Sting and Rogue, the third generation of Dragon Slayers, are now using their final forms – Dragon Force, something we saw from Natsu during the Tower of Heaven arc where he developed this kind of power by eating Etherion. The fact that Sting and Lector can achieve this on their own will surprises Jellal.
Sting tells Rogue to back off as he will be enough to fight both Natsu and Gajeel. The commentators are surprised by this confidence Sting is showing considering that Sabertooth just a few moments ago where at a disadvantage. Gajeel thinks Sting is underestimating his opponents but Natsu can feel that Sting is strong.
Sting lands a hit on Natsu and another one on Gajeel who both try to counter him without any success. Sting uses his dragon powers; he is strong enough to destroy the floor of the arena.
The match continues, Natsu and Gajeel manages to knock down Sting to the ground with their teamwork but that isn’t enough to win. Sting tells his opponents that the power of the White Dragon purifies everything. He unleashes his Holy Rays on Gajeel and Natsu who both take some damage from that. Sting closes in on Natsu and sends him flying; he does the same with Gajeel. FAIRY TAIL’s Dragon Slayers stand no chance against Sting at the moment.
Sting keeps landing hits on his opponents. His motivation is his promise with Lector – a promise he made as a child.
We’re taken to a flashback scene that takes place during Sting’s childhood. Lector is seen crying because he was bullied for telling everyone that Sting beat a dragon. Sting tells his friend to ignore the bullies but Lector can’t do that as he doesn’t want people to say bad things about his friends. Sting tells Lector that he’ll make sure people won’t call the exceed a liar anymore. As there are no dragons around anymore, he’ll have to defeat a guy called “Salamander” in front of everyone. He promises Lector that he’ll do that for him.
Back at the game, Sting is standing victoriously in front of Gajeel and Natsu who are both worn out on the ground. Rogue who is standing on top of a broken pillar says that he and Sting became real Dragon Slayers in seven years, and that the old generation’s era is over. Sting compliments Natsu and Gajeel by saying that they were strong. Everyone is surprised and wondering if FAIRY TAIL will lose this.
Suddenly Natsu and Gajeel stand up aching all over, surprising Sting and Rogue. Natsu says that he knows all of Sting’s methods as in timing, pose, defense, and even his breathing rhythm. Sting is surprised and reminds Natsu that he is using Dragon Force, which Natsu says he has noticed as he is hurting all over because of that.
Natsu and Gajeel start arguing about what position Sting turns his pivot leg to during an attack. Annoyed by Gajeel, Natsu shoves him in a mine cart nearby, taking advantage of Gajeel’s motion sickness, and sends him away.
Since Sting and Rogue underestimated their opponents, Natsu says he’ll be enough to fight them both and asks them if they’re fired up now. The chapter ends with Gajeel tragically rolling away from the battle.
Well, well, what can I say? I’m not surprised at all! I expected Natsu and Gajeel to be able to handle Sting and Rogue’s Dragon Forces, and indeed they did – with some comedy on top!
Sting and Rogue constantly powered themselves up, enhancing their abilities to the max while Natsu and Gajeel both haven’t done anything special since entering the stage. When the FAIRY TAIL team was getting all beaten up, I was just laughing because I felt a bit sorry for Sting (I just knew that this wouldn’t be enough to beat Natsu and Gajeel). I don’t want to seem over-confident with my assumption about this battle’s outcome, but this is what usually happens in this manga – Natsu is stronger than ever when facing someone who harmed one of his friends, and Sabertooth has hurt many of them. Knowing this, I will assume that Natsu will beat both Sting and Rogue, but I expect him to face some sort of difficulty now that he is alone.
And speaking of the fact that he is alone now – FAIRY TAIL’s comedy never ceases to amuse me. The way Gajeel left the battle was incredibly hilarious to me and very true to this manga’s style, but I’m wondering, where did that conveniently located mine cart come from?
Oh well, now that Sting has had his time in the spotlight, I hope to see Natsu righteously knock him away from it. Also, I’m very curious about Rogue and his background. We saw a part of Sting’s childhood in today’s chapter, and we finally know about his promise to Lector.
I think Sting’s promise to Lector was very sweet, and I thought that entire flashback was very adorable. It’s amazing how a simple childish promise like that still motivates Sting to go forward. I respect Sting for staying true to his words, or at least trying to stick to his promise (yes, I expect Natsu to win). I was a bit surprised when he smiled to Natsu and Gajeel while telling them they were strong. That act was a bit too gentle for something coming from Sting, almost out of character if I may say so myself. But I hope Sting gradually will turn into a kinder person, and hopefully we might see him join FAIRY TAIL some day – like Gajeel!
I hope to see Natsu beat Sting and Rogue next week. The battle will be intense, so as an answer to Natsu’s final question in this chapter: