Natsu and the crew suddenly encountered a disruption of dimensions. Lucy lost some of her celestial keys during the incident. To retrieve the keys, all of them jumped into the crack of disruption and arrived into the realm.
Gray: Ouch…Looks like the crack has sent me to this creepy place and separated all of us——Isn’t that Lucy’s key? What are those tiny creatures doing with it?
Sucked by the crack of disruption, the key of Celestial Spirit shone even brighter in the land of abyss. A group of gnomes, inhabitants of Cove, were tugging the key out of the chink.
Gnome: Lovely shiny thingy! Everyone tugs harder!
Gray: Hey, wait!
The moment when the key was pulled out, it triggered an unusual underground activity. Next second, few cracks appeared at the edge of the land, reaching to another side rapidly.
Gnome: Whoa!!! The land is cracking! We’re going to fall!
Gray: Ice Make! Floor!
The frost immediately covered the cracking land once Gray cast spell, stopping the land from falling apart.
Gnome: It-it stopped… You saved us. You’re gnomes’ saviors!
Gnome: Our savior, thanks for saving our lives This glamorous key is our gift to you!
Gray: Nah, you’re welcome.
Gray: “And Lucy’s key is retrieved. What a lucky day.”
Gray stripped himself to underwear somehow and caught the attention of the gnomes.
Gnome: Our savior, so you’re an exhibitionist…
Gray: Huh? When did this happen?
Gnome: Is that the key to mastering ice-magic? Then we’ll strip naked like you! Our savior, please teach us the humble gnomes some self-defense skills!
Gnome: Ever since the departure of Saruman, our leader, we have been bullied by other races. Boohoo…
Moved by the pity faces of the gnomes, Gray decided to train them. Then a group of the naked gnomes stared at the naked Gray with full attention, waiting for his lecture.
Gray: Let the class begin!
With Gray’s instruction, the gnomes were able to utilize the water elemental power to form ice shields. When he thought it was time to leave, the poor gnomes climbed on him, begging him to stay.
Gnome: Please don’t leave us alone, our savior. Now that master Saruman is gone, we’ll be very lonely without you...Boohoo...
Gray: I’ve got other businesses. I must go!
Gnome: Then make us an ice sculpture of master Saruman. You’ll be free to go by then.
Gray: Why do I have to? I have to go anyway——
Gnome: Humph! You’re making excuses! It’s not because you’re busy. You’re just not good enough!
Taunted by the gnomes, Gray decided to stay for the sculpture. But he couldn’t make a vivid sculpture of Saruman without meeting him in person. With this reason, Gray had no choice but to stay in the abyss...
Gray had been so devoted to making the ice sculpture of Saruman for days. As he kept casting Ice-magic on and on, frost and snow gradually piled up in the abyss, turning the underground into a frozen place.
Gnome: Our savior, master Saruman is not that tall. And his eyes should be bigger too.
Gray: This is already the 106th one! Can’t you just take that? If it’s too tall, just chopped off a bit from the legs!
Gnome: Whoa! Master Saruman’s legs are chopped!
Suddenly, a familiar voice yelled, sounding energetic and furious. Gray instantly recognized the voice, reminding him of a chest with stone-hard armor, and he hid himself instinctively.
Gnome: Why are you hiding——
Erza: Gray, I know you’re here! Show yourself!
Gnome: Who are you? Don’t you dare to hurt our savior!
Gnome: Go! Protect our savior!
Erza: So many of them...
Erza sent several swords to attack the incoming gnomes, taking them down one by one. Then the gnomes made numerous ice shields to form an ice wall, preventing Erza from going any further.
Erza: The Ice-magic…I found you Gray! Get out before you regret it!
Gray came out of the ice wall for his own sake. The moment he saw the frowning Erza with two strangers in armors and a gnome hiding behind her, he knew that trouble had come to him again.
Erza told Gray about how she met the two Courts of Zodiac and the unorthodox phenomenon on the surface.
Erza: Gray, you’re causing a great trouble you know!
Luna: The area in the perimeter is frozen. Frost is all over the land…So you’re the one causing all of these!
Gray: Me? I was just making ice sculptures!
At this moment, the gnomes pushed the unfinished Saruman sculpture out.
Gnome: Master Zodiacs, our savior is just trying to make us an ice sculpture of our leader. He didn’t mean to freeze the land. Please forgive him.
Erza: Gray will clean up his own mess above. Then you two can let this thing go.
Gray: So I don’t have a say!?
Erza: Do you?
After a round of discussion, Luna and Pollux decided to let this thing go as the whole thing was just an accident.
Luna: Sure, as long as the incident can be solved. Let us lead you and Erza back to the surface.
Gnome: Wait…The sculpture has not finished yet… Boohoo...
Gray: Right. I have to make a Saruman sculpture, but it’s not vivid enough no matter how I hard try.
Luna: Let me help.
Luna drew a vivid portrait with her mastery in art skills for Gray’s reference. With the portrait, Gray finally made a majestic sculpture for the gnomes. While he was resting next to it, something happened——
Gray: That weird phenomenon…It’s the disruption!
Erza: Hurry up! Melt the ice and we leave— —Oh no, Lucy’s key…
Gray: I got it already!
Gray waved the key at Erza. Then, she rubbed his head against her armored chest as a compliment.