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|←Chapter 85, "Pursuit"||Chapter 87, "Just a Simple Story about Killing a Person" →|
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|As Death the Kid questions his father's pursuit of Asura, Tezca Tlipoca and Justin Law engage in a battle that will leave one of the Death Scythes dead.|
Death the Kid reads in the Death Times newspaper that Shibusen has decimated an opposing faction located in Baghdad under suspicion of the Kishin being located there. Although the newspaper reports that Baghdad has been the site of numerous anti-DWMA groups, Kid remembers the Great Old One of Power’s warning about how the abuse of justice is itself a sin—hence Kid asks his father whether he has gone too far, especially when there was no trace indicating that the Kishin was in that place. Spirit Albarn intervenes to state that the Baghdad government did not answer Shibusen's petition to search for the Kishin. Lord Death merely says, “I really, reeeally thought that’s where he was.”
Imagining that his father is displeased with his own remarks, Kid understands his father cannot afford to be lenient and therefore determines to take action rather than only criticize. Kid asks permission from the headmaster of Shibusen to travel to Lost Island, as a chance to locate Eibon who may know the location of fellow Great Old One Asura.
Justin Law, still fused to the Clown, refers to the malformed Tezca Tlipoca as a monster. Tezca says likewise to Justin, but the difference is that Tezca wants to help save Justin. He promises that if Justin surrenders to the DWMA and all information he has on the Kishin, Lord Death would be more lenient in his sentence.
Justin pauses, wondering why Tezca is so “fixated” on him. Tezca responds that whereas he has Enrique for a meister and a friend, Justin has had no one. While Justin could pray as much as he wants to Lord Death or Asura, these beings are only gods to Justin, not friends. Tezca argues that Justin has failed to listen to that argument in the past, blocking out his ears with loud music. As much as Justin mocks Enrique for being a monkey, really it is Justin who is so foolish to be guided by only faith. Faith, Tezca argues, is not enough: faith will guide Justin in a direction, but it is not a friend.
Justin responds that he is not going to lock himself away to determine his place in existence. “There’s no truth to be found in this world,” he answers. Rather, a god simply offers what a devotee desires. Justin asks whether choosing a convenient god and living a delightful life is bad. Justin then complains that even when he removes his earphones, he still cannot understand Tezca, whether because of his confusing philosophizing or his panther mask.
Tezca simplifies his argument: “I’m sayin’ I’ll be your friend!!” Justin refuses, claiming he will not befriend someone whose lips he cannot read.
Tezca unleashes his Solar Ray, but the beam manages to destroy only a small part of Justin's helmet--but for the rest of this chapter (and throughout the rest of the manga) leaving the left side of his face a smoky mess. Justin responds by shooting his carcan claws at Tezca, but Tezca refuses to run or hide. The claws wrap around Tezca’s arms.
Justin announces that he will judge his former companion guilty for the crime of seeking Asura’s location, for which his sentence is death. Tezca is aghast that Justin would assume the domain of Shinigami to determine who lives and dies. Tezca makes a final attempt to reason with Justin, but the mad Death Scythe responds that Asura gave him that right to kill. Tezca screams again for Justin to stop. Justin roar with madness, as he says he is the messenger of peace, and declares to kill anyone sided with Shinigami who would search for the Kishin. As Justin rants madly about his goal to slaughter pigs “in the name of fear and the madness,” using his attack Law Abi-bi-bahahahaha, Justin lets loose his guillotine, beheading Tezca.
As Tezca cheated death once before, Justin walks to the decapitated body to retrieve the panther mask. He lifts the mask and gazes inside. He rattles the head and is delighted to hear, and see, that indeed he has beheaded the Death Scythe. As far as Justin can tell, Tezca Tlipoca is dead.
Manga and Anime Differences
- While Tezca Tlipca never appeared in the Soul Eater NOT! anime itself, a bear-head keychain with sharp teeth appears as one of the tchotchkes covering Meme Tatane in Episode 8, perhaps an allusion to Tezca's beheading in this chapter.
- The Death Times newspaper has the legible headline, "Katolabor bakuhatuenzyou" ("Catlabor explodes and goes up in flames!"). This headline is an allusion to Atsushi Ōkubo's Atsushi-Ya bonus section that appears in every volume of the manga Soul Eater. "Katalabor" refers to the Catlabor robot, which is a parody of the manga and anime Patlabor. "Bakuhatuenzyou" is a Japan-style transliteration of "bakuhatsu enjo" ("explosion and fire").