|“||Upon this land in which the white angel reigned supreme, a Black Dragon now descends... It's as if the malice of the black angel has been made manifest. But the one who will be laughing when all is said and done is I... The Scarlet Angel.||„|
|~ Irene Belserion to herself on Acnologia.|
|“||The white and black angels... I'm sure they were the spitting image of you girls. Which begs the question... If the two of you were to battle... Who would be the one to come out victorious? Shall we find out?||„|
|~ Irene Belserion to Juliet Sun and Heine Lunasea.|
Irene Belserion (in Japanese: アイリーン・ベルせリオン, Airīn Beruserion) is a major antagonist featured in Fairy Tail anime and manga series. She is the mother of Erza Scarlet and the creator of Dragon Slayer Magic. She is part of the Alvarez Empire, being regarded as the strongest female mage of the Spriggan 12, the protection guard of Emperor Spriggan. Within Alvarez, she is addressed by others as the Scarlet Despair (緋色の絶望 Hīro no Zetsubō), due to her peerless magnitude of power.
Like the majority of her fellow comrades, she leads her own personal squad known as the Irene Squad. Because of her high-ranking status in the Alvarez empire and her influence on major events and characters of the story, she can be considered the secondary antagonist of the series as a whole.
She is voiced by Takako Honda in the Japanese version and by Rachel Robinson in the English dubbed version, the former of whom also voiced Hunter J of Pokémon.
Irene is a seemingly tall, voluptuous woman with large amounts of scarlet hair thickly braided and located in the front and back of her body as pairs, all of which have bows near its ends. The frontal braids also have two golden ornaments near the upper sections. Also, the woman has two U-shaped earrings on her ears, while donning a light-red lipstick.
For clothing, Irene dons a scanty version of the typical witch's garb. Her black top has a diamond-shaped opening, exposing a portion of her breasts, and a heart-shaped pattern around the borders. It extends down to the naval of her stomach where it meets a large angular scar, is draped over by a dark-colored cape with a light-colored inside and two medallion gold-like ornaments, and is held together by a golden chain. Not left bare, too, her neck is decorated by other small cloth-based accessories, including a wide bow. Additionally, Irene wears an elongated black loincloth with the symbol of the Alvarez Empire emblazoned on its front, having white borders on its edges and being connected to another cloth piece with the very same heart-shaped design. She also wears black thigh-high boots with heels that have a white-colored border near the top and gloves of the same color and design, only having claw-like extensions. Her black witch's hat is much larger than her head and possesses dreadlock designs with white bandaging near its ends. It also has a fur lining near its edges.
As a Dragon, Irene has light colored scales all over her body and a dark colored fiery man on her back and arms, which appear to be connected to her wings. Her wings are also dark colored and noticeable border above her nostrils that divides her mouth from her face, extending to the back of her head. She has jagged horns on the base of her skull and feather like scales extending from the back of her knees.
Irene has shown to be very knowledgeable and intelligent, showcasing herself as a historian when revisiting a folktale of her birthplace, seemingly enjoying the counterbalance of a "wonderful story" of the two angels of Zonia. She is shown to have a humorous and hysterical side to her, as seen when she wanted to see Juliet and Heine do battle, only to later say it was a joke. In regards to her underlings, she is very attached to them, even referencing them as her "children", coming to their defense after their battle against Mirajane Strauss, painfully torturing the latter as collateral for defeating them.
When serious, she has shown to criticize and be honestly blunt to those even above her, such as the Emperor, for the latter treating the war as a game and also inviting naivety in his heart in regards to his former lover, wanting to be the one to correct him through it all. Besides all of this, she is very respectful, appreciative, complimentary, and oleaginous to those higher than her, still delivering high praise to the same Emperor who she claimed if he participated in the war against Ishgar that it would be over sooner after it began, while taking honor from the Black Dragon's compliments after engaging in battle with him, returning the favor by saying the rumors of his power don't do him any justice in person. However, she can be somewhat vain and egotistical to go along with her sly mouth, remembering that society has dubbed her the "Scarlet Despair", wishing for the title to be something "cuter" than her current alias.
In the past, Irene was a kind hearted individual who believed in the cause that humans and dragons can live together in peace. It was this mutual feeling that lead her to creating Dragon Slayer Magic in order to help her cause win the war against the dragons that were against this idea. However, this would soon change when her body began forming her into a dragon. Due to the attempts on her life from her husband, Irene became obsessed on returning to her original body and it was this obsession that drove her into pure insanity. She became so determined that she attempted to use her own child as a sacrifice to regain her humanity. However, upon viewing her child, she couldn't bring herself to do it and instead left her behind in care to others.
400 years ago, Irene lived in Dragnof where she was known as the Queen of the Dragons. During this time, she was married to a young man and became pregnant with his child. She had also befriended the Sage Dragon known as Belserion. The two of them were on the side of dragons and humans coexisting together and would do anything to protect their country from war.
As the war continued, Ishgar was on the verge of losing against the dragons that refused to accept humanity as friends. Irene eventually entered in the war itself where she created and used the Dragon Slayer Magic, a magic that would grant a person the power to slay dragons. As a result, Irene and her comrades won the war but those that became Dragon Slayers developed motion sicknesses, due to their bodies being unable to handle their draconian senses. In addition to this, consuming an overwhelming amount of power would turn that person into a dragon themselves which would lead to the creation of Acnologia. Since then, Irene continued to aid Belserion in battle, along with her husband. Belserion was eventually killed by Acnologia.
Some time later, Irene began to turn into a dragon herself and when her husband noticed this, he demanded that she must be kept locked and be executed. Irene did everything she could to rationalize with him, but her husband believed she was lying and refused to help her. No longer able to take the abuse, Irene soon transformed into a full dragon where she killed her husband and began to wreck havoc.
Since then, Irene has spent most of her life as a dragon, but was able to regain her form from the Black Wizard known as Zeref. Irene expressed in joy to see her human self again, but Zeref reminded her that she was only physically human but still remained a dragon. At first, she paid no attention to it, but when her draconian senses began to emerge again, her mind began to break apart. When she realized that she was still pregnant, Irene planned to use her own child and take over her body. However, when her child was born, she refused to due to how precious looking her child had looked at her. Irene decided to leave her behind in care at a church in Rosemary Village, fearing that one day, that feeling of her's will disappear and she will try to take over her body again.
Afterwards, Irene moved to Alakitasia where she became a follower of Zeref's. During this time, she taught herself how to master her Enchantment Magic and as a result, she was successfully able to do so, demonstrating this magic on a pair of two swords that would serve in her squad; Heine Lunasea and Juliet Sun.
In light of the upcoming war between Ishgar and the Alvarez Empire, and their subsequent fight to retrieve Fairy Heart, Irene receives an immediate summons to attend a meeting between Zeref, Emperor Spriggan, and the entirety of the Spriggan 12, but because of her immediate location within the extremely vast expanse of Alakitasia, she finds herself unable to attend.
Irene, along with Larcade, Bloodman and her own personal squad, are ordered by Zeref to mobilize to the northern Ishgar border, eliminating any resistance while heading towards Fairy Tail, successfully annihilating the Sabertooth and Blue Pegasus alliance. Irene is then seen walking with her two subordinates, Heine Lunasea and Juliet Sun in the Sacred Mountain of Zonia. She recalls an old legend about a white angel and a black angel clashing, in which the white one comes out victorious. Heine and Juliet praise her, and she comments that the angels were the spitting image of the two. She expresses curiosity at who would emerge victorious if Heine and Juliet were to fight, but later states that she was kidding; Irene drastically changes the snowy climate to a warmer one, then turns to Bloodman and Larcade, asking them if they are prepared for battle.
Irene watches the battle proceed from afar with Heine and Juliet. The two express their worries at the Ishgar forces' comeback, but Irene calmly states that they've nothing to fear as Bloodman and Larcade are there as well. Before long, Irene orders Juliet and Heine to join the front lines to deal with Blue Pegasus, Sabertooth and Fairy Tail, as well as the incoming Crime Sorcière. She goes on to describe the incoming fourth guest as very troublesome, and resolves to handle them on her own; To make preparations for the incoming fourth guest, whom she reveals is Acnologia, Irene enchants the ground, proclaiming that Zeref's "game" will have to end as she declares premature victory over the Dragon King. Irene very quickly locates Acnologia, hears that his objective is the annihilation of all Dragon Slayers, and then proceeds to block his path. Acnologia attempts to dismiss her, but she instead challenges him, affirming that she is aware of his strength, and confirms to him that she can, indeed, give him a worthy challenge.
Irene immediately begins her fight against Acnologia by casting several destructive enchantments, but her attacks are parried and she is subject to Acnologia's own Dragon Slayer Magic. After managing to step out of harm's way, Irene is praised for her magical ability by the Dragon King: praise which she returns; however, she wonders aloud about the possibility of Zeref's strength exceeding Acnologia's once he attains Fairy Heart. The two briefly taunt each other until Irene expresses her desire to put an end to Zeref's "game" and bring the war to a swift conclusion. In response to this desire, she begins casting a brand new type of Magic that is unknown to even Acnologia by enchanting the earth of the entire Kingdom of Fiore. Irene then tells Acnologia her name and states her want to meet Acnologia again in the future before ultimately enveloping all of Fiore in the light of Universe One.
She later is warped inside of Mercurius's castle due to her Magic, saying that for the first time using the spell, the results were favorable, before pondering her location in front of the confused Royal Family. Afterwards, Irene defeats the Royal Family guards with relative ease, leaving a beaten Arcadios in shock of the might of her power. Irene turns her attention to Toma E. Fiore and his daughter. The former asks her to do as she pleases with him, but to spare his daughter. For an answer, Irene turns Hisui into a mouse and cruelly asks the king if he's still able to love his daughter despite her new appearance. To her disappointment, the king replies that he'll always love his daughter no matter what, Irene calls his affection for his daughter a pity, as she prepares her next move. Suddenly, Irene freezes as she senses a familiar presence, she goes on to investigate and uses her Eye Magic to scan the environments, when she finally spots a red-haired woman, she starts pondering about her identity. The Scarlet Despair later appears right behind an exhausted Mirajane after she defeats Heine and Juliet and reveals that the two of them are actually swords enchanted with a personality.
As Mirajane remains shocked by Irene's vast amount of Magic Power, the female Spriggan uses this opportunity to make use of both Heine's Magical Bands and Juliet's Mucus Magic to tie Mirajane up and then torture her, using the mucus to burn her skin and clothes and declaring that she will not let Mirajane die a swift and easy death. She is stopped by August, who appears with Brandish as well, and accuses the witch of using Universe One without the Emperor's consent. Irene blames it on Acnologia's appearance and also points out the Magic's successful usage. Brushing her comments aside, August decides that the remaining Shields of Spriggan must assemble at the Emperor's side, which Irene stubbornly refuses to do, causing August to remind her that he is general of the Spriggan 12. Irene reluctantly obliges, but declares she will take care of Mirajane first; it is for naught, as August pierces Mirajane's heart before the witch can act. Satisfied, Irene departs with August and Brandish.
Later, Irene is seen with the Spriggan 12, who are gathered at the Fairy Tail Guild. She is ultimately greeted by Zeref, who praises her for successfully casting Universe One. He orders her to remove Fairy Heart from Mavis, who is shocked that Irene is capable of such a thing. Along with Zeref and the rest of the Spriggan 12, Irene then stands in front of the guild as a part of an impenetrable battle formation. While the fight outside continues, Irene is inside the guild building, making use of her ability to slowly extract Fairy Heart. She shows pity for Mavis' current state, with her intellect being stolen thanks to Invel's Ice Slave. All of this is witnessed by Zeref who confronts Irene, displeased to see Mavis' suffering and questions the duration of the Enchantment. Irene calls him out for his naivety, noting that Acnologia's defeat is impossible if Zeref himself has such feelings. Zeref acknowledges her words and leaves the building, letting her continue the extraction. However, she is interrupted yet again, this time by Neinhart, who informs her that Erza's whereabouts are known. Irene coldly orders him to kill her and even though Neinhart argues that his Historia is ineffective against Erza, Irene insists that he does it himself, reminding the Spriggan of his true identity.
Afterwards, while still in the process of extraction, Irene is interrupted as Zeref arrives at the scene, wishing to speak to Mavis one last time. Irene expresses her opposition, commenting on foolishness of that act. Zeref, however, is still persistent in his intentions, before it's proven that he's been an illusion all along. As the real Zeref makes that clear, he says that Illusion Magic is one at which Mavis is particularly good, having been allowed to do so due to Invel's defeat. Infuriated that she was able to be deceived, Irene gladly obliges to pursue the escapee. She does so by going outside and manifesting her giant eye in the sky, taunting everyone by openly projecting the thought that Mavis cannot run nor hide from her gaze. Mavis' voice also projects from the sky at this point, taking Irene by surprise; a giant illusion of Mavis is conjured to rally the Fairy Tail troops, and Irene, realizing that her actions were anticipated and used as a means to the girl's end, expresses vehement disgust for Mavis.
Irene then goes on to cast Berserker on the Alvarez army, enchanting them all into mindless, absurdly strong warriors who easily overwhelm and brutalize Fairy Tail. Satisfied with Fairy Tail's current predicament, she wonders aloud how Mavis is going to respond. Before long, however, a startled Irene is caught in the light of Makarov's Fairy Law, but emerges completely unscathed, surmising to Zeref behind her that 70-80% of their forces were killed, but that the remaining Spriggan 12 were unharmed, thus leaving the flow of battle largely unchanged.
Irene then travels to where Team Natsu and Juvia are located and attacks them, after which she greets Erza. Citing that it's been a long time since they've last met, Erza asks Irene who she is, to which she cryptically responds that they are one and the same. Irene laughs at Erza's confusion, but soon ceases upon being afflicted with the effects of Larcade's Pleasure; as a result, the wounded are allowed to escape. The Scarlet Despair immediately retaliates against an attacking Erza with an atmospheric enchantment when she charges at her, but to her surprise, it is blocked and diffused by Wendy. She then curses both Wendy and Erza for being unaffected by Larcade's Magic.
Despite her death, her fragment still residing inside Wendy’s body, allowing her to fully control Irene’s powers during 100 Years Quest.
Powers and Abilities
- Universe One (in Japanese: ユニバースワン Yunibāsu Wan): Also known as World Reconstruction Magic (in Japanese: 世界再構築魔法 Sekai Sai Kōchiku Mahō), Irene, by firstly enchanting the land, can manipulate the very geography of the ground itself, with the ability of compressing the land to as much as five percent (or less) of its original size, thereby altering the entire landscape.The true purpose of this Magic is the power of bringing certain things or people to specific areas and locations, for example pushing the Emperor to the Fairy Tail Guild where Fairy Heart is located, while vanquishing Acnologia to deep into the sea. There are major side effects, however, as the new age Magic teleports all the inhabitants of the area (including Irene herself) and even structures and landmarks randomly all over the affected area. An indication to its power lies in the area of effect and Zeref's shock at the fact that Irene would cast it in the first place. Irene calls this Magic one of "a new era", indicating that it was created rather recently and would thus be unknown to someone who has knowledge of all Magics of old, such as Acnologia. She also noted that the casting she performed against Acnologia was her first ever time using Universe One.
- Eye Magic (in Japanese: 眼の魔法 Me no Mahō): Irene has shown the ability to remotely view an area by summoning a giant eye in the sky over the location she wants to see and linking this eye with her true one. Both the giant eye and her real eye show a cross-shape pattern while the Magic is active.
- Animal Transformation: Irene was shown to be able to transform people into the form of animals.
- Enchantment (in Japanese: 付加術 Fukajutsu): Irene has shown extremely high proficiency in the art of enchantment; so much that she's classified as a High Enchanter (in Japanese: ハイエンチャンター 高位付加術士 Hai Enchantā). It is implied by Acnologia that she learned this ability from Zeref himself, giving her the ability to change and alter landscapes, climates, and the terra firma of the world, as well as manipulate the atmosphere, people, and objects "enchanting" them into any forms on however way she desires. It has been noted by Zeref that she's prodigious when it comes to attaching and detaching Magic from objects, as seen when she offers to detach Fairy Heart from Mavis, something which should normally be impossible. However, due to Fairy Heart's complex nature, this task proves time consuming and delicate for even Irene.
- Berserker (in Japanese: バーサーカー 狂戦士 Bāsākā): Irene can enchant her target(s) to this form; the ones enchanted take on a monstrous form with sharp teeth and flaming skulls, increasing their abilities, power, as well as their durability. However, she has noted that the ones in this form lose their ability to think as a cost to their new gained power.
- Deus Zero (in Japanese: デウスゼロ 神の無加 Deusu Zero): Irene has access to this enchantment, which allows her to extract Magic or other enchantments from someone. She originally used this to try and extract Fairy Heart from Mavis, and later used it on Wendy to detach her enchantment from Erza, but failed when Wendy also proved herself to be able to cast this particular enchantment.
- Flight: Irene has shown that she can fly to any location.
- Dragon Slayer Magic (in Japanese: 滅竜魔法 Metsuryū Mahō): Irene is able to use Dragon Slayer Magic and was the one who created it for the use of the Dragon Civil War.
- Dragon Form: Like Acnologia, Irene transformed into a Dragon because of her Lost Magic but unlike Acnologia, Irene does not have control over her transformation and couldn't transform back into human without Zeref's help. As a result of staying a dragon for centuries, Irene was granted extreme longevity and lacks the ability to age despite being over hundreds of years old.
- Immense Strength: Irene has immense strength as a Dragon, being able to easily break through stone structures, crush a human being to death, and effortlessly break both of Erza's legs and her left arm with a casual swipe of her hand.
- Dragon's Roar: Being a Dragon, so long as she has assumed this shape, Irene can spout destructive blasts from her mouth like the rest of the race, which can easily decimate an entire castle.
- Flight: While she can fly in her human form, Irene can also fly in this form, but in the more conventional sense.
- Enhanced Magic Power: In her Dragon Form, Irene is the Sage Dragon (as Belserion gave her her power), and has her already immense Magic Power increased to much larger levels, which allows her to greatly increase the power of her enchantments.
- Enhanced Enchantments: According to her, with the Sage Dragon's great power, Irene can increase the power of her enchantments to levels that no human could reasonably cast, something that transcends the land, the sky and the seas, and allows her to enchant the heavens themselves. These enchantments are of a higher rank than "High Enchants" (in Japanese: ハイエンチャント 高位付加術 Hai Enchanto) and are thus known as "Master Enchants" (in Japanese: マスターエンチャント 極限付加術 Masuta Enchanto)
- Deus Sema (in Japanese: デウス・セーマ 神の星座崩し Deusu Sēma): Using the immense power gifted to her by transforming into a Dragon, Irene enchants a rather large asteroid in space to come crashing down to earth as a meteor. If the meteor were to strike the ground it would annihilate the entirety of the area surrounding the new location of the Fairy Tail Guild. Deus Sema is a higher ranked, stronger version of Jellal Fernandes's True Heavenly Body Sema.
- Enhanced Agility: Irene has proven herself to be quite nimble, swiftly dodging Acnologia's attack by backflipping into the air several meters away from the explosion, while being still able to land on both feet, unharmed by the attack.
- Immense Durability: Irene has displayed vast amounts of durability, having endured over three years of excruciating torture, punishment and humiliation four hundred years past, and in the present, surviving a Dragon Force-empowered Sky Dragon's Wing Attack from Wendy, as well a powerful follow-up slash from Erza that left two deep gashes on her stomach. She also withstood a full-powered strike from Erza's combined Red-Black Twin Blades that hit her on the head, which left her with little more than a superficial head wound, and continued to fight on normally afterward. During this same encounter, Irene also parried Erza's sword strikes with her arms, and suffered no damage whatsoever.
- Master Sensor: Irene has shown to be able to sense presence of Mages to great extent and determine how strong they are without them being near her, as she could sense Crime Sorcière and Acnologia from a relatively long distance, unlike her subordinates.
- Immense Magic Power: Irene holds vast reserves of Magic Power, being the most powerful woman among the Spriggan 12 (which even Brandish μ acknowledged), and tying with the strongest individual, the "Magic King", August, as the strongest member overall. Neinhart, another Shield, even seemed somewhat afraid of Irene, sweating and trembling at the thought of Erza Scarlet being in some way related to her, as Erza's Magic Power is apparently of similar signature or potency to Irene's. Brandish has stated that Irene is the only mage capable of rivaling August and due to not having any personal connection to Irene, despite her own overwhelming power, even she would be incapable of doing anything against her. She is shown to have tremendous aptitude in her power, easily changing the climate of Mt. Zonia without much effort. She's shown more to her aptitude of having her Magic, Universe One, to affect the entire country of Fiore by reorganizing its landscape with ease. Even Acnologia, the self proclaimed Dragon King, was impressed by her power and even praised her. Even one of Fairy Tail's S Class Wizard's Mirajane Strauss, was terrified by her power and proclaimed hers (and August) defies common sense. Mavis Vermilion even sweats and trembles from simply being in Irene's presence.
Staff: Irene wields a massive light-brown staff in her right hand, matching, if not surpassing, its owner's height, and being divided into two large, inwardly curved antlers near the top; considerably below those, the weapon begins to be overlaid with brown leopard-skin spots that extends up to the antler's tips. It has yet to be revealed if the staff fulfills a specific purpose. She has shown to use her staff in conjunction with her Magic, simply by tapping the ground or waving the wooden artifact as if it were a wand to induce her abilities.
|“||The white and black angels... I'm sure they were the spitting image of you girls. Which begs the question... If the two of you were to battle... Who would be the one to come out victorious? Shall we find out?||„|
|~ To Juliet Sun and Heine Lunasea.|
|“||Still you are correct. I do not want you to interfere. Inside, His Majesty thinks this is a game. I want him to be serious. I desire a swift end to this war.||„|
|~ To Acnologia.|
|“||Oh, I never imagine you would express such sympathetic feelings your majesty. This may come across a bit insolent, but I assure you I mean no disrespect. You won't beat Acnologia with mercy. Only with cunning and brute strength. He is the epitome of darkness. The true dragon king.||„|
|~ To Zeref Dragneel.|
- Irene and Acnologia are currently the only two Dragon Slayers to have transformed into dragons. However, unlike Acnologia, Irene needed Zeref's help to turn back into human while Acnologia seems to have control over his transformation.