Macao arcNatsu received a tip from Krov that “Salamander” had been spotted in Hargeon Town. Convinced that the “Salamander” is Igneel, Natsu and Happy travel to Hargeon by train. After getting off, the two stumble across a crowd of young, love-struck women eagerly shouting the name "Salamander." Excited, Natsu breaks into the crowd but, rather than seeing a Dragon, he meets a fire Mage claiming to be named Salamander. Downtrodden that the "Salamander" wasn't Igneel, Natsu rejects an autograph from the impostor and walks away, causing the Mage's crowd of female fans to attack Natsu. Through his antics, Natsu saves a traveling Mage, Lucy Heartfilia, from the influence of "Salamander's" illegal Charm Magic, which he used to infatuate the crowd of girls. Out of appreciation, Lucy buys a meal for him and Happy, and the duo listen to Lucy talk about her dream: to be able to join a guild. After the meal, they part ways.
Later that night, when Natsu overhears a conversation that “Salamander” is supposedly a member of Fairy Tail, he instantly becomes suspicious and crashes the party on the Mage’s ship. While on the ship, Natsu discovers that Lucy is on board, as “Salamander” had tricked her into thinking that he could get her into Fairy Tail. The ship, being a mode of transport, causes Natsu to become violently ill, leaving him defenseless against his enemies. After being rescued by Happy, Lucy summons the Celestial Spirit Aquarius, who uses her Water Magic to wash the boat and everyone on it ashore.
With the ship on dry land and its rocking motion gone, Natsu regains his vitality and confronts "Salamander", declaring himself to be a member of Fairy Tail, thereby exposing the Mage as an impostor. One of the impostor's crew members reveals his name to be Bora, however, Natsu shows no interest in his identity and is only concerned with his attempt at tarnishing Fairy Tail's name. Natsu and Bora engage in a brief skirmish, ending with Natsu's complete, and quite easy, decimation of Bora and his crew. However, in the process, Natsu ended up destroying a major part of Hargeon's port.The large amount of damage attracts the attention of the Rune Knights, prompting Natsu and Happy to flee with Lucy in tow. Lucy is initially uneasy, but Natsu, knowing that Lucy wants to join Fairy Tail, invites her to join, to which she happily accepts.
Upon returning to the guild in Magnolia with Lucy, Natsu angrily attacks Krov for giving him false information on the "Salamander", starting a fight, which, through various circumstances, swiftly evolves into a full-scale brawl. The unruly Mages are stopped by Makarov Dreyar, their Guild Master. Not much later, Natsu examines the request board, looking for an available job, hoping to garner enough money for food. While picking out a job, Natsu overhears Romeo Conbolt, the son of Fairy Tail's Macao Conbolt, interrogating Makarov as to the reason why his father hasn't returned from his mission, which was stationed at Mt. Hakobe, to slay Vulcans. Empathizing with Romeo's troubles, Natsu leaves together with Happy to find Macao. The two are accompanied by Lucy, who is now an official member of Fairy Tail. After the three reach the snowstorm-ravaged mountain, they are attacked by a Vulcan, which whisks Lucy away to its cavernous lair at the peak of the mountain
Thinking that this particular Vulcan is responsible for Macao's disappearance, Natsu chases the Vulcan to its lair and demands to know where Macao is. However, the Vulcan tricks Natsu into coming near a hole in the cavern wall and pushes him into it, sending him plummeting off the side of the mountain. Fortunately, Happy rescues him. When back inside the cave, Natsu sees Lucy fighting the Vulcan using the Celestial Spirit Taurus and, mistaking the bull spirit to be another monster, knocks the spirit out.Natsu soon defeats the Vulcan, who is then revealed to actually be Macao, who was taken over by the Vulcan. They find Macao to be seriously wounded, having fought nineteen Vulcans before being taken over by the twentieth. Natsu saves his life by burning the wound shut, and returns to Magnolia with his friends, reuniting Macao and Romeo