Gray later heads south with his team

Gray later heads south with his team

As they wander about with Gray continuing to carry Erza, the trio happens upon Natsu, Happy and Lucy near Mercurius

As night descends, they decide to rest to revitalize themselves for the upcoming clash. They soon notice Laxus’ absence, but shrug it off. While his companions sleep, Gray slips out in search of their missing comrade and soon finds him, only to discover the Dragon Slayer suffering from a chestache. He correctly surmises that this is a result of Laxus’ consumption of Tempester’s magical Barrier Particles and promises to keep quiet about Laxus’ condition, simply smiling in confidence when the latter expresses his desire to protect his Guild. [466] When the group finally reaches Hargeon, Gray immediately makes for the front lines to help Lyon. [467] As he fights the Empire’s grunts alongside his allies, he finds Lyon distracted by Laxus’ fight and explains that Laxus has always been flashy, the two then returning to the task at hand. [468] The trio is soon joined by Meredy, whose presence is questioned by Gray, to which Meredy responds by announcing Crime Sorciere’s entrance into the war. [469] However, Gray and Lyon are soon faced by an entirely different enemy as Ur herself joins the fray on the side of the Empire, her existence having been moulded from their own memories by Neinhart. Unable to comprehend the presence of their former master, the two Mages are too shocked to even move. [470]

Forced into a fight against Ur’s reincarnation, the two Mages are unable to even hold their own. When Lyon appears reluctant to fight the pseudo-Ur, Gray reminds him that they are facing a fake. He claims that their growth even after their former master’s death will allow them to surpass this hurdle, and coldly expresses his fury at the sullying of his beloved master’s memories. [471] However, the duo is unable to land a single hit on their opponent, causing Lyon to doubt himself and cast a negative light on his own development as compared to Gray’s after their mentor’s sacrifice. But Gray claims that his improvement is a result of his resolve to head towards the future without repeating the mistakes of the past, encouraging his comrade to do the same. [472] The two resume their assault with renewed conviction [473] and cheer when their battle ends with the pseudo-Ur’s banishment thanks to Neinhart’s defeat. [474] With their victory in the battle for Hargeon almost certain, Gray joins his comrades in Fiore’s provisional medical facility and informs Erza about the situation as well as their plan to head back to the Guild. [475]

On their way back, the four find themselves bathed in an ominous light, [476] following which Gray, alongside Erza and Juvia, is teleported to an arid location

Gray decides to carry Erza back to the Guild while Wendy and Juvia accompany him. While Juvia searches for Wendy and Carla, he watches over Erza and attempts to ascertain the cause of their relocation. When his ally reports her failure to find their companions, the two exchange duties, [477] but he has no better luck. [478] Suddenly, the group is astounded to find themselves under the surveillance of a monstrous eye hovering above the landscape. [479] However, they are soon distracted by a telepathic message directing them towards the Guild. Although Gray suspects the trustworthiness of the mysterious entity, [480] his doubts are dispelled when Gajeel’s voice confirms that he is accompanying their guide and the group sets off for their Guild, [481] only to find it to be occupied by the enemy. While Erza, who has finally come to, guards them, the others rest to refresh themselves for the upcoming battle. [482]