Natsu watched the pain in Lucy's eyes. He slammed his fist into one of the pillars, storming out from the guild hall, drawing the eyes of everyone, include Lucy's. As he walked, Lucy went to go after him, as well as Happy, but they were stopped by Laxus. "You aren't the only one hurt by what happened, Lucy. Natsu is hurt that you are, and he's wanting to fix it. We have no idea how he will, but that bastard always has a way of doing it. Creating a miracle when there doesn't seem to be one. Also, it's best if you guys left him alone. Natsu isn't the greatest when he's hurting," Laxus said in a dejected voice. "Also, this is the day he came to the guild. It's his birthday and you're sad. He wants you to be happy."
"But I can't... I lost one of the spirits my mother left me... and there's no way that I can have her come back," Lucy said as tears dropped from her eyes.
"Laxus, Natsu needs me. We've been inseparable since I hatched," Happy stated with his own eyes shedding tears.
"Natsu tends to know what he wants to do, and once he's set, he'll make it possible. I mean, he's beaten a lot of crazy motherfuckers that thought he was easily beaten. Hell, he beat Gajeel and I. I guarantee that the fiery bastard could beat every Dragonslayer in existence. Let him grieve."
Unknown to the trio, Leo had come out, and followed where Natsu went, keeping up despite the early lead his friend had. After several hours, Leo found Natsu meditating in the field where he was raised by Igneel, the King of the Fire Dragons. "Natsu, it's Loki," Leo said quietly.
"I smelled you before you came here. Why are you invading my solitude," Natsu asked calmly, despite the rage in his heart.
"I came because you want to help Lucy, and there's a way to recreate the key."
"No tricks, totally foolproof?"
"Yeah. You just have to come with me into the spirit realm."
"One condition: The king must forestall time while I'm in there."
"He will honor that. I guarantee it."
"He better, or I will beat his sorry ass."
Leo laughed as he opened the portal to the realm.