Natsu's group find Juvia ill-stricken from the rain at the deserted village, where she has lived with Gray Fullbuster until he disappeared six months earlier. Juvia recalls a pattern of black markings that appeared on Gray's body before he left, which reminds Natsu of the warning given to him the previous year by Rogue Cheney's alternate future self that Gray would kill Frosch around this time. Natsu visits Saber Tooth with Lucy and Happy to prevent Rogue and Frosch from undertaking a mission to destroy Avatar, a cult of Zeref's worshipers that Natsu correctly surmises Gray has joined. Meanwhile, Avatar's members suspect Gray of spying on them for the Magic Council, but he says that destroying the Book of E.N.D. is all that concerns him anymore, which convinces the cultists that he has been corrupted by his demon slayer magic. Elsewhere, the Council's custody enforcement unit – captained by Gajeel Redfox – discovers Gray's affiliation with Avatar and prepares to apprehend him with the rest of the cult.