Black Dragon (Part 2)
|←Chapter 13: "Black Dragon (Part 1)"||Chapter 15: "The Anniversary Celebration" →|
|List of Chapters |Image Gallery|
|Death the Kid finds himself battling both Crona and the Flying Dutchman, only to be defeated his greatest enemy: symmetry. Yet as the words of the Dutchman about the Kishin "closest" to him, he returns to Death City to question his father. Meanwhile, following a lead from Franken Stein, Sid Barrett investigates Dr. Medusa's interest in Maka Albarn and Soul Eater, uncovering her research on Black Blood and her plans during tomorrow's Eve Anniversary Party.|
Flying above the Ghost Ship Nidhogg, Crona explains that they are scared of everything, explaining that with power they could deal with such fears. With Ragnarok extending out of their body, in a shape resembling that of a dragon with unfurled wings, Crona asks the opponent standing far away from them on the Nidhogg, Death the Kid, whether he knows where hell is. Crona knocks their four fingers into the side of their head, explaining that hell is "in the mind."
Crona threatens that, if Kid interferes, they will kill him. Kid is unconvinced, aiming at Crona—then dashing off the deck, up the stairs, and onto the upper deck until he is beside Crona. Crona is too surprised to defend in time, as Kid sweeps the ground with his right leg, knocking Crona off-balance. As Crona falls, Kid comes from below them, shoves his Demon Pistol Liz Thompson into their abdomen, and fires. As Crona flies into the air, Kid fires more shots at Crona and lectures them: to remove fear, Crona should not simply seek power but make their soul stronger. Kid leaps from the deck and descends onto the airborne Crona, pointing both pistols into their jaw—but as Kid pulls his triggers, only clicks are made. Instead of firing upon Crona, he kicks them down to the deck, the impact of their body crashing causing the Nidhogg to tip to its side. Kid backflips into a perfectly symmetrical landing atop the deck.
Liz asks whether Kid has finished Crona, but then Kid notices a glimmer of light appear on the deck just right of his foot. This flash of light is Crona's Screech Beta technique, which transforms Ragnarok into a mouth-shaped barrier that knocks Kid back and allows a distraction for Crona to unfurl their wings and sail upward. Kid is shocked his attacks seemed to have no affect on Crona.
From the sky above, Crona says that a shinigami like Kid is unable to understand them. "Even bunnies don't understand my feelings." Surprised by Crona's behavior, Patty Thompson begins to ask her sister a question, and Liz interrupts, assuming she already understands what Patty is going to ask: yes, Crona is like they were.
Brooklyn, New York (The Past)
Liz remembers cornering a man in the alley, putting her demon pistol Patty to his head. Liz thinks she and her sister acted as they did because, as weapons, they gained power and were fearless. At that time, Liz ordered the man to leave his briefcase. As the Thompsons depart with this briefcase, Patty tells the man to die. Liz concludes that she and her sister thought that they owned the city and that no one understood them.
Ghost Ship Nidhogg (The Present)
Patty corrects Liz: she wasn't going to compare themselves to Crona, but to ask whether Crona was a boy or a girl. Liz blushes as her sister laughs at her for getting nostalgic.
The Flying Dutchman's upper jaw rests on the deck, having been sliced off by Crona. Yet this evil spirit is not dead, as it shouts, "Nidhogg!" So long as the ship does not sink, he, as an extension of that ship, will not die. He bounces his head across numerous cannons he has across the ship's deck while he chastises Crona for devouring the souls he was collecting. Therefore, he aims his cannons and fires them. Kid and Crona cringe in shock as the cannonballs head towards them, producing explosions on the ship. The Dutchman cackles before demanding that he have his lower jaw returned. But as the smoke of the explosions clears, he sees that the cannonballs left Kid with only minor scuffs, and that Crona protected themselves with their soul wavelength, which Kid sees is expanding.
Crona announces their hate for these opponents, so as with anyone else that they cannot deal with, Crona will destroy Kid and the Dutchman with their scream. Crona twirls Ragnarok to perform Screech Alpha, sending a mouth-shaped blast down at Kid that divides the ship in two—and as the Nidhogg and the Dutchman are one, that evil spirit's head splits in two as well.
Kid, however, is impressed that Crona's slice divided the ship into "two perfect halves." Realizing the ship will not hold for much longer, and seeing Crona and Ragnarok fly away, Kid summons Beelzebub from his palm and flies after them. But as he does so, he cannot forget the Dutchman's remark about "the Kishin who's closest to you guys," wondering whether that statement means Shibusen is hiding something.
Crona flies quickly yet sees Kid is catching up to them. Ragnarok warns that if Crona is captured, he will steal all of their dinner, shocking the already skinny Crona.
As Kid pursues Crona, the fog clears, as the fog must have been produced by the Nidhogg itself. Yet upon seeing the sun emerge, Kid stops, prompting the Thompsons to ask why he has stopped. Kid then notices how symmetrical the sun looks amid symmetrical clouds. Therefore, he reasons, he must fly towards that center of the world. Crona is surprised to see Kid departs perpendicular to their path, leaving them to escape. Kid looks back as Crona escapes, while Liz corrects him that he is the one who allowed Crona to escape. Kid tries to assure Liz that this symmetry is too splendid to pass, while Liz claims she is not a romantic.
Meanwhile, from the wreckage of the Nidhogg, a rowboat sails away, rowed by the body of the Dutchman, his upper jaw still in two pieces but at least resting in the boat while his arms row away. The Dutchman is upset that Crona stole all the souls he stole for the Kishin, hoping that this Kishin will grant him a safe voyage.
In the dispensary, Dr. Medusa announces that she has completed the bloodwork on Maka Albarn, who sits in the office, her shirt unbuttoned and without her tie. Medusa assures the student that her white and red blood cell counts are normal, as are her hemoglobin. Yet Maka is still unconvinced, having coughed Black Blood during her battle against Free on London Bridge. Medusa assures Maka that sometimes blood darkens as it dries. Yet she is bothered that the strong Soul Resonance between Maka and Soul led Maka to expel rather than retain the Black Blood to spread throughout her.
Medusa then holds up a pill, ordering Maka to take this medicine every morning and night. Yet Medusa does not reveal that this medicine will expedite the effects of the Black Blood, which Medusa will monitor as part of her research on the Black Blood.
As Medusa hands Maka the medicine, the physician asks whether Soul Eater still has the strange dreams of the Little Ogre. Maka is confused, until Medusa says that Soul insisted on speaking with the physician. Embarrassed that Soul would confide in their physician but not his own meister, Maka smiles and tries to pass off her nervousness with a laugh, claiming Soul has recovered from those nightmares. Maka takes the medicine and quickly departs, slamming the door behind her. Medusa smirks and laughs, referring to Maka as a "silly girl."
Having escaped the dispensary, Maka glowers, buttoning her shirt and replacing her tie angrily as she wonders why Soul discussed his nightmares with Medusa but not his own meister. She stomps her feet as she heads down the hallway, intending to question Soul.
Back in the dispensary, Medusa opens her file cabinets to review Maka's medical record to ascertain why her "flawless" research did not anticipate the Black Blood disappearing from Maka's body. But Medusa cannot find Maka's record.
The record is dropped onto Medusa's desk, returned by Franken Stein who has entered the dispensary surreptitiously. Her back to Stein, Medusa glowers. But she quickly feigns being startled by Stein's unannounced arrival. Stein smirks, noticing how concerned Medusa has been about Maka and Soul. Medusa mentally curses Stein's suspicions as she claims she is concerned after all that has happened to the two students recently.
Stein then presents the bag of medicine that Medusa handed to Maka, claiming he took it from her because he has never seen such medicine before. Medusa twitches with annoyance, wondering whether Stein suspects she is a witch. She prepares Vector Arrows along her left hand as she explains that the medicine is her own herbal medicine to improve circulation and steady pulses. Stein sounds convinced, and Medusa reminds herself mentally that the medicine does technically do as she described—only it improves the circulation of the Black Blood as well. Medusa continues to affect embarrassment, blushing and saying that a nurse like her is not necessarily forthright with their herbal practices but that she wanted to provide any help she could to Maka and Soul. Stein laughs, saying Medusa's concern is cute, yet he is worried whether Medusa is acting as such due to her capacity as a nurse, or because she is a witch.
Medusa twitches slightly while Stein smirks. Her eyes grow furious before she turns and blushes, feigning being insulted and accusing Stein of mocking her face, which is sexual harassment. A cackling Stein kicks off in his chair, saying as he departs out the door that if Medusa is going to sue someone, she should start with Spirit Albarn. But as he departs, his chair falls in the hallway, knocking him down. Seeing Stein through the open door, Medusa tells Stein that his chair actually belongs in the dispensary.
Later, in the hallway, Stein still sits in that chair, smoking, but with his eyeglasses removed. He reviews what happened during his engagement with Medusa: if only for a second, he sensed her intention to kill him. As the hand holding his cigarette shakes, he wonders whether he is feeling fear, something he has forgotten for a long time.
In the dispensary, Medusa stands, thinking.
At the front entrance to the Academy, Kid lands Beezlebub, allowing the Thompsons to revert to their human forms. While Patty giggles, Liz complains how tired she feels. Kid orders the Thompsons to return to the Gallows, while he heads to the Death Room to speak to his father.
Later that day, rattling is heard throughout the largely empty hallways. Sid asks how "it" went, and Stein responds, "No doubt about it." Upon being asked by Stein, Sid explains he is still looking into Medusa's home. Stein warns Sid not to "dig too deep." But Sid is adamant that they need proof: so long as Medusa uses Soul Protect to hide her identity as a witch, they lack evidence to gain an execution order from Death. Sid concludes that, as they have seen "the tails of her snakes," they need only "grab them!"
In the dispensary, Medusa speaks to the snakes in Eruka Frog to speak to this frog witch. Medusa urges Eruka to hurry with her orders. First, retrieve the attaché case that she desires, which contains "that". Second, Medusa confirms that Eruka knows the next steps to their plan.
In Medusa's lair, Eruka smirks and makes a croaking sound.
Atop a rocky terrain, Sid looks down into a set of buildings, one of which is Medusa's lair. He descends the terrain, approaches the building, and skirts the corner to enter. He presses the door and, finding it open, worries that he is entering a trap. He enters, unsheathing his knife. He gulps and passes odd specimens in jars, including a detached eyeball and what looks like an egg with wings and an array. Sid also notices skin tissue pinned to a wall across from a surgical bed and tools, all bloody. He worries that this facility was used for nurse's treatment. Sid then finds drawn onto a wall a mystic circle and magic writing, confirming Medusa is a witch.
Sid then notices on one desk is a journal decorated with an arrow. Sid begins to say that he was not the kind of guy to read a woman's diary, then admits that this claim isn't true, so he starts skimming the journal. While Sid is surprised how the journal reveals how much Medusa knows about the Academy, a black orb begins bouncing and rolling towards him. Sid is shocked to learn why Medusa is studying the Black Blood, which she will put on during tomorrow's evening festivities. He has to leave immediately to report to Stein and Death.
Then Sid hears the orb rolling towards him. He draws his knife to see multiple floating, croaking, and smiling Tadpole Bombs. Then one Bomb opens its mouth into a horrible expression, its teeth revealed to be sharp as it explodes in a flash of light. "Shit!" Sid screams, as the frog-shaped explosion sends out a loud "Boom."
Eruka has already walked far away from the explosion, even as bits of Medusa's destroyed lair descend near her heeled boots. She clutches an attaché case decorated with arrows as she asks the presumably dead Sid whether he liked her Tadpole Bombs. She then croaks and admits that she loves destroying things, which makes her glad she was born a witch.
Kid approaches the mirror, calling his father. Death appears on the mirror, mentioning that he heard about his son's confrontation with Ragnarok but wondering why Kid looks bothered. Kid pauses before explaining that, as a child, he is ignorant of many things, but as a shinigami, he desires to know something: "What does 'the Kishin closest to us' mean?"
Death pauses before answering: "Both humans and gods have weaknesses. They seek power to try to fill in those weaknesses. Fear and ambition are two sides of the same coin..."
Kid interrupts with a loud, "No!" Kid clarifies that he suspects the Dutchman's remark about the Kishin closest to them is related to why Death may not stray very far from the Academy, so he asks that his father tell him about this information, with every last detail.
Manga and Anime Differences
- Episode 16 included a brief flashback of Crona remembering the Little One, which is a dragon. In Chapter 14, Crona talks about how bunnies did not understand them, without referring to them as the Little One. Later chapters will show that Crona killed a rabbit, whereas in the anime Crona killed a dragon.
- In Chapter 14, when Liz remembers her and Patty's abusive actions in Brooklyn, Patty tells the man they robbed to die as she resumes her human form. In Episode 16, Patty does not do so. Instead, in Episode 16, Liz kicks the man and tells him to run away, while Patty remains in weapon form until that man leaves. Liz and Patty, in human form, then stroll away, pleased to have intimidated this city.
- In Episode 16, when aiming the cannons at Kid and Crona, the Flying Dutchman shouts orders to himself, as if imagining he has an entire crew. In Chapter 14, he does not shout orders to anyone else.
- In Chapter 14, Medusa smirks and laughs when referring to Maka as silly. In Episode 16, Medusa is glowering and seems humorless as she refers to Maka as silly.
- In Chapter 14, as he tells Medusa to sue Spirit first, Stein leaves on his chair and falls in the hallway. In Episode 16, when Stein makes this remark to Medusa, he instead spins in his seat, has not yet departed with the chair out of the dispensary, then falls down, kicking the chair up which then falls atop him while he lies on the floor.
- In Episode 16, Mira Naigus makes her first appearance. In Chapter 14, Mira remains in her weapon form and silent, if not during Sid's meeting with Stein then when Sid enters Medusa's lab. As such, whereas in Chapter 14 Sid begins to say that he never was the kind of man to read a woman's diary, then corrects himself that indeed he was, in Episode 16, Sid claims he never was a man who would read a woman's journal, only for Mira to reply that now is not the time for chivalry.
- In Chapter 14, Sid and Stein speak more cryptically about Medusa's identity as a witch. In Episode 16, Sid, Stein, and Mira are more explicit in referring to their suspicions that Medusa is a witch.
- In Chapter 14, Sid observes what looks like a surgical station, with its bed and instruments covered in blood. In Episode 16, these gorier scenes are not included.
- In Episode 16, the explosion from the Tadpole Bombs looks ordinary, whereas in Chapter 14, the explosion is accompanied with a cartoony "Boom" sound effect and a smoke cloud that resembles frog eyes. This cartoonish "Boom" and the frog-shaped smoke cloud will appear later in the anime when Mizune uses a Tadpole Bomb upon Kid and the Thompsons at the Runaway Express's Sahara train stop.
- The color splash page features messages including "No Left Turn" (with a skull in the letter "o"), "42 Sinin Bangou Company" (42 being a number that frequently appears in Soul Eater due to its association with death), and "No Return Forever" (with a star in the letter "o").
- Crona refers to bunnies as unable to understand them, foreshadowing the revelation that, in their childhood, Crona was tortured by Medusa until they were willing to kill a harmless rabbit.
- Although the Flying Dutchman claims that he and the Nidhogg are one, hence any damage done to the ship is done to him, the reverse does not seem to be true. When Crona beheads the Dutchman, no similar damage is discernible to the Nidhogg. This relationship between the Dutchman and the Nidhogg also seems inconsistent: while Crona's bisection of the Nidhogg splits the Dutchman's upper jaw in half, Crona's attack does not also split the Dutchman's body below his jaw.
- While this chapter is technically Mira Naigus's first appearance, she is in weapon form only and silent. The manga would retroactively reveal that Sid's weapon partner was Mira and that her weapon form was a knife, looking similar to the silent one that Sid wields in this chapter.
- In the Yen Press English translation, Stein warns Sid not to "dig too deep." Stein may be making a pun: Sid has been shown already to dig frequently, in keeping with his theme as a zombie (he is able to rise and return underground to the grave) and his work as a spy (as "to go underground" is slang for spies hiding their locations).
- In his first battle, Sid tunnels under Hook Cemetery.
- In the next chapter, it is revealed that in this chapter Sid also burrowed under Medusa's lair before the Tadpole Bombs exploded.
- Also in the next chapter, Sid will use Forced Burial to allow Stein and his students to escape the Independent Cube and enter the underground Seal Shrine.
- During the battle for Brew, Sid will tunnel under the snow of Lost Island to escape Mifune.
- In the next chapter, Stein will tell Medusa that Sid was investigating her laboratory in Libya, whereas this chapter does not reveal that this lair is in Libya.
- While reading Medusa's journal, Sid mentions that tomorrow is the Eve Anniversary Party. Later chapters reveal that the Death Weapon Meister Academy was founded on April 1, so the Eve would be March 31, and this chapter takes place on March 30.
- In this chapter, Eruka says, "I love destroying things. I'm so glad I was born a witch." Later chapters will reveal that destruction is integral to the very nature of witches, such as when Kim Diehl reveals that she had regenerative magic that made her an outcast among witches, when Kim offers to guide Angela Leon away from the path of destruction, and when Kid asks the Witch Judge and Maba to allow witches to channel that destructive nature to stop Asura and to find a way for witches, humans, and shinigami to co-exist.
- This chapter reveals that Death may not stray far from the Academy. The next chapter reveals that Death tethered his body and soul to Death City to seal Asura, hence he may never leave. Chapter 3 hinted at Death's inability to leave Death City when Maka could not sense Death's soul, as it was so large that it encompassed the entire city, like a barrier to keep something out—or to keep something in.