A Fight to the Death at the Anniversary Celebration (Part 4)
The Eve's Fight to the Death (Part 4)
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|While Spirit Albarn and Franken Stein are furious at the wickedness of Medusa's abuse of her own child, Maka Albarn has embraced the Black Blood's madness in order to resonate with Crona.|
Death City, Underground
Death the Kid faces a disgusting sight: Eruka Frog's tadpole bombs, arranged hazardly with no concern for symmetry. Liz Thompson urges Kid to ignore the arrangement, but he collapses to his knees, nauseated. While Liz can understand Kid's fear, based on her own fear of monsters, Patty Thompson reminds her sister that bombs are already dangerous, hence Kid's fear is rather rational. But Liz still urges Kid to act: if their peers are willing to risk their lives to stop the resurrection of the Kishin, then Kid as a shinigami must lead by example. Kid still thinks of himself as trash, however. Therefore, Liz tells Patty to assume her "voice of authority," which consists of the younger Thompson assuming a frightening face and telling the "good-for-nothing" shinigami to move it. Motivated by Patty's harsh words, Kid, tears and snot running down his face, rides along Beelzebub through the bombs, setting them off such that their blasts actually propel him at a faster pace. As Patty cackles with delight, the teary-eyed Kid insults her for being such "a moron."
Further ahead towards the Seal Shrine, Eruka rides atop her largest tadpole, Jackson, urging her tired familiar to continue as they are almost to their destination. But Free is worried how quickly the DWMA members are approaching. Eruka clutches the attaché case of Black Blood, fearful that their failure to complete this mission will lead to their deaths at the hands of Medusa. Free has an idea, asking to borrow Tadpole Jackson. He stops running as he stretches his arm and smirks, ready to enact a spell "to outsmart those kids."
Elsewhere, Maka Albarn, cackling, is fully under the madness of the Black Blood. Although Maka had knocked down Crona, the demon sword meister is back on their feet. As Soul Eater struggles to hold his and Maka's sanity against the madness, the Little Ogre urges Maka, "Go!"
"This feels super-cool!" Maka shouts, struggling to run while Crona urges the "staggering and cackling" meister to stay away. But Maka refuses, slicing Soul's inner blade against Crona's neck. "Geez!!" Ragnarok whines, as Crona tightens their grip on their weapon and slices his blade into Maka's forehead. Despite the tip of the blade slammed into her head, Maka stares, deadpan, and grips the blade of Ragnarok. Even as that sharp blade digs into her palm, Maka pushes the sword away and kicks Crona in the neck. "I like it!" Maka shouts, noticing her own blood is now black.
While the mad Maka seems to be enjoying this battle, Soul is frustrated at how odd this fight has become, as he holds against the madness. Meanwhile, Maka seizes her opponent by the forehead, demanding Crona "do something to me! Something even meaner..." She slams Crona's head against Soul's blade, slicing it across their face. Crona responds by thrusting Ragnarok's blade into Maka's right armpit, but still she smiles. While Soul now realizes madness upon seeing Maka's behavior, the Ogre explains that madness removes fear, having "denied their opponent's soul and even their very own soul." Maka still demands hurt her, such as gouge her eyeballs or tug on her tongue, Maka demonstrating the latter with a roar. Maka then leaps onto Crona's back and wraps her mouth around Crona's scalp, still roaring and beginning to lick Crona's hair.
While the Ogre is pleased with this battle, Soul calls out to Maka, reminding her that she took on the madness for more than this kind of a battle, and if Maka does not resist this madness, both of them will lose their sanity.
Within Maka's soul, she is dressed in her usual school attire, only without her longcoat, gloves, socks, or shoes, and her tie and shirt are loosened at the neck. She is embarrassed at her behavior licking Crona's head, but Soul tells her, "It's not much different from how you usually are." He again urges Maka to hurry to resonate with Crona's soul and end this battle.
With this madness, Maka tries to resonate with Crona's soul, first locating her own soul, however "tiny" it is. She then senses another soul near her. She turns in this empty space in which she floats, and she sees what she recognizes as a "rebellious" but loyal soul, that of her own weapon, Soul. Departing from Soul's soul, Maka turns to find Crona's soul. She hovers to that soul, wrapping it in her arms, bringing it closer to her chest as she senses how "dry" Crona's soul feels.
In a flash of light, Maka finds herself still appearing as before, only now floating in the blue, cloudy sky. But below looks like a beach, only without an ocean--a desert. And the only occupant of this desert is a small child who, with a stick, is drawing in the sand. Although much smaller than her opponent, by dress and appearance, Maka recognizes this child is Crona.
Death City, Underground
Franken Stein, armed with the Death Scythe Spirit Albarn, faces Medusa Gorgon, as her Vector Plates encircle both of them, each ready to thrust either opponent against the other, which can easily lead to Stein's demise. As Medusa can sense the madness of Crona and Maka, she claims, "My research on the Black Blood is complete." Therefore, once Eruka and Free inject the Black Blood into the Kishin, its revival will be assured. As Medusa's goal is to resurrect the Kishin, Stein wants to know what she will do with Crona, as Medusa seems to suggest her concern for her own child is at an end. Medusa claims that her abusive upbringing of Crona made the child dependent on her, making them "a total failure."
As Spirit quietly demands that Medusa stop chuckling over such abuse, the witch elaborates that she refuses to retain "something I don't need anymore," even if Crona is a child. Medusa concludes by asking whether Stein is interested in claiming Crona, perhaps as an object for his next experimentation. Stein has had enough, but before he can act, Spirit has already returned to his human form, marched across the floor, and seized Medusa by her cloak.
Despite seizing the witch by her collar, Spirit is too angry to put words together. Annoyed, Medusa attacks with Vector Arrows to knock back the Death Scythe. Stein initially expresses hostility at Spirit's recklessness until he sees his weapon crying. "Act your age and stop crying," Stein chastises, but Spirit responds that it is difficult to put into words how furious he, as a parent, is with Medusa's treatment of her own child. Stein puts into words Spirit's feelings: "If a parent abandons a child, then who will that child trust?" Spirit wipes his tears and stands again, ready to rejoin this battle.
A seashell appears in the sand, suggesting that Maka was correct in referring to this desert as once being a beach that now has lost its water. Crona, appearing as a young child, continues drawing with a stick into the sand, eventually forming a circle, "My area," they call it. After kicking up the sand and seeing how lifeless is the Sun, Crona decides it is best to do nothing, sitting into the sand within the circle.
Even as the Sun is lifeless, its light forms a shadow for Crona--which speaks to them. "I'm Crona," the shadow says. Crona seems familiar with this shadow: "Whenever I'm not doing anything, it always shows up." The shadow decides to ask questions, as Crona sits silently and thinks how they tend to answer their own questions. Crona only asks whether they may pass on questions, as the shadow begins. With each question asked, Crona marks a line in the sand.
First, the shadow asks for Crona's name, and Crona passes. Second, the shadow asks why Crona won't answer, and Crona passes. Third, the shadow asks why Crona refuses to give direct answers, suggesting that Crona asks themselves questions so to stay sane--and Crona passes again. Fourth, the shadow asks whether Crona thinks they will be unable to question themselves, and Crona passes. Fifth, the shadow asks whether Crona actually thinks anyone is interested in their problems by sitting like this to get attention, and Crona passes. Sixth, asks about how Crona felt about killing the Little One, and Crona passes. Seventh, the shadow asks whether Crona felt relieved killing the rabbit, and Crona passes. Eighth, the shadow only says that Crona found a weaker opponent in that rabbit, and Crona passes just that statement. Ninth, the shadow asks whether such relief made Crona lose all doubts about seeking the power Medusa wanted them to gain, and Crona passes.
Eventually, the shadow has asked 39 questions. For the fortieth, the shadow asks whether killing the rabbit removed the hell in Crona's head, and Crona passes. Now the shadow is crying, asking whether Crona could just answer one question, or whether Crona's hell will enlarge. Crona passes on this forty-first question. Upset with such denial, the shadow refers to Crona as the worst, but the child cannot remember being criticized like this before and asks why this shadow always hangs around, blaming it for the damage around Crona. The shadow expresses surprise that Crona seems to suggest that they have a split personality: the shadow is not separate but part of Crona, "a perfectly common emotion that everybody has." Crona begins to object, but the shadow finishes their thought: "You don't know how to deal with it?" The shadow asks where Crona is heading--and with this forty-second question, Crona passes, so the shadows is leaving to "go on ahead." The shadow evaporates, and Crona marks the forty-second line.
Crona then remembers when Maka asked for their name. Crona begins crying, wondering why they could answer their name last time. Crona then says, "I'm...the demon sword master Crona."
"I know!" a small child says, as she stands outside the circle. It is Maka, somehow now a child--and who roars at Crona. Despite this childish shout, Crona is still shocked. Maka giggles, asking whether she may enter the circle. Crona refuses, referring to this space as their own and the line drawn in the sand impermeable. But Maka enters anyway. "How did you get in so easily?" Crona asks. They explain that, unable "to deal with things," they enter the circle to relax. Now that Maka has shown the line is imaginary, Crona does not know how to proceed. So Maka walks along the line, sliding her foot to erase it despite Crona's protests. Upon completion, Maka dusts herself off. Crona stares, seeming to shake.
Death City, Underground
Crona screams, surprising Soul and even the Ogre. Soul realizes that Crona's body is rejecting the madness. He then hears Maka calling to him to remove her from the madness. While the Ogre is shocked at Maka's accomplishment, Soul falls downward, somehow gaining clothing in his descent towards a pool of water where he can see Maka underneath. But rather than sink into the water, he lands upon it, as this liquid is too viscous to permeate. He tries to dive a hand through, eventually putting four of his fingers into the water, then his forearm. While the Ogre seems bothered by this occurrence as he shouts "Shit!!" Soul and Maka succeed in grasping each other's wrist. Soul pulls until he retrieves his meister from the water.
Maka opens her eyes, reawakening to her body. While Soul catches his breath, Maka's first remark is to ask how is Crona. Seeing them screaming as the Black Blood forms needles across their body, Maka sets her weapon against a pillar. Despite Soul's warning not to approach Crona or risk being stabbed by those Black Blood needles, Maka simply smiles and walks forward.
Crona screams for Maka to stay back, as one needle slices along her neck. Soul's eye on his weapon form widens in fear, but Maka persists, urging Crona not to be afraid. As Maka approaches, the needles thrust from Crona forward across Maka's body without hitting her. Maka tries to calm down Crona by telling them that they are "just a little shaken up because the line disappeared." Then multiple needles pierce Maka's body. Soul is shocked, Crona still screams albeit quieter, while Maka sweetly tells Crona not to worry, as she collapses onto their body.
Crona freezes and is silent. Despite her injuries, Maka speaks, as she wraps her arms around Crona to hug them. "I understand your wavelength now," Maka explains. "It's not that you don't know how to deal with things." Maka then realizes that no one, not even their own mother, tried to reach out to Crona. Crona seems to have regained her sanity, replying that they have "already given up anyway" because they are no longer needed, so they will just disappear. Maka pauses, removes herself from her embrace of Crona--and Maka Chops Crona with some book that appears out of nowhere. Crona is stunned, more from surprise than injury.
Maka removes the glove on her right hand and extends it in friendship. Soul shares his meister's smile, but Crona begins sobbing, unable to understand how someone could offer friendship to them. As Crona covers their face, water has returned to that dry desert within their soul, as their childish form within their soul holds hands with Maka's younger form, both of their shadows smiling.
Soul has transformed back to his human form, as he leans against a pillar and looks upward. "The fear of dealing with other people, huh?" Soul asks himself. As he imagines his meister and his friends, he concludes, "Even I'm scared of that."
Manga and Anime Differences
- In Chapter 19, Crona stabs Maka in the forehead with Ragnarok, the Black Blood from Soul preventing any injury to Maka. In Episode 21, Crona never stabs Ragnarok into Maka's forehead.
- When Liz imagines monsters, she thinks about Blair and the Flying Dutchman. This chapter serves as one of the first to refer to Blair as a monster.
- Although Stein had warned the weapons not to revert from their weapon forms to stand against Asura's madness, both Soul and Spirit transform back into their human forms.