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|As Maka Albarn and Ox Ford reel from new information about Crona's departure and Kim Diehl's identity, Medusa proposes a deal with Death. Elsewhere, Kim and Jacqueline O. Lantern Dupre are in danger as Arachnophobia has plans for the witch and her weapon.|
The Deal is the forty-fifth serialized chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It was reprinted in tankōbon form in Volume 12. Although Medusa’s arrival and announcement that she has arrived at the Deapon Weapon Meister Academy to offer a deal to Lord Death is adapted in part in Episode 40, “The Cards Are Cut – Medusa Surrenders to the DWMA?” much of this chapter’s content is original to the manga and was not adapted into the anime.
This morning on the athletic field, Mira Naigus leads the physical education class, instructing her students to stretch in preparation for their assigned 100-meter dash. While Soul Eater helps her stretch, Maka Albarn's mind is on other concerns, remembering the previous day's events about Kim Diehl and Jacqueline O'Lantern Dupre.
Death Weapon Meister Academy Quad (The Past)
The previous day, Ox Ford asks Naigus to explain what has happened to Kim and Jacqueline: why did Shibusen try to capture the duo? Upon his arrival, Death the Kid intervenes, urging calm as he explains, "not as a shinigami, but as [a] friend," what his father has informed him.
Upon Naigus's departure, Kid explains: Kim Diehl is a witch. As he explains that Shibusen was not capturing Kim but attempting to bring her in for questions, Kid bemoans that "witches are a lot more skittish than we thought," based on Kim's swift departure. Kilik Rung is not convinced: Kid should have informed Kim's friends rather than surrounding her with "a bunch of two-star thugs." Surprising Kilik, however, Ox defends Kid's actions: the young reaper only just returned from his own mission, hence could not intervene with the adults' decision. After all, Ox continues, the adults had to take the presence of a witch seriously. He reminds Kilik not to "get all worked up" because such behavior is "stupid." Frustrated with his peers, Kilik plans to search for Kim and Jacqueline on his own, despite Ox anticipating that, with the speed of their flight and the danger of remaining in Death City, they likely departed too far way for Kilik to locate easily. Frustrated, Kilik apologizes. Soul accompanies his friend and Kilik's weapons, after waving goodbye to his meister.
As Maka remains behind at the Deapon Weapon Meister Academy, she remembers how sad Kim looked upon her departure. Like Kilik, she is not convinced and asks Kid from whom Shibusen learned of three witches hiding in Death City. Initially hesitant, Kid finally admits that the information came from the still living witch, Medusa. Kid explains to his friends that Medusa survived and actually turned herself over to the custody of Shibusen, which has locked her in the dungeons. Shocked, Maka attempts to detect Medusa's soul, but her efforts are thwarted by Medusa's soul protect. And yet Maka senses something else: Crona's sadness. At that moment, Maka realizes Crona must have felt as sad as Kim did upon departure—and that Medusa has therefore hurt two of Maka's friends. Maka resolves, "I'll never forgive her."
Death Weapon Meister Academy (The Present)
Soul awakens Maka from her reverie, informing her it is her turn for the 100-meter dash. Maka unzips her jacket, takes her mark, and begins her dash. But as she runs, all she can think about is Crona: just as Crona was making friends, Medusa took Maka's friend away from Death City. Even as Maka makes her dash in under nine seconds, she cannot stop thinking how she has to face this witch.
After gym, the girls and boys separate for their showers. As the girls compare students' records at the 100-meter dash, Liz Thompson is annoyed that gym was their first class period, tiring her too much for studying. She tries to motivate Maka to skip class, but the meister blushes, claiming she has to study at the library during lunch.
In the boys' shower room, while their female counterparts compare time records at the dash, the boys complain how long one of their peers is taking to wash himself when they're all hungry for lunch. Ox is quiet, overhearing his classmates gossip about the recent news that Kim was a witch. While the students admit Kim was cute, they also say that her bad attitude should have made it obvious she was a witch: "That kinda girl's just scum." Angered, Ox approaches the boys, demanding they cease this criticism. The boys reply Ox was to lovestruck to recognize she was "a bitch." Ox challenges the two boys to a fight outside—and gets punched right there in the shower, rationalizing that it is easier to fight Ox here than to give the meister an advantage outside. The boys mock Ox as someone who may be book-smart but lacks the common sense to know that other people fight with strategy, not just following arbitrary rules. When the boys refer to Kim as scum and nerds like him as scum, Ox replies that perhaps this similarity is a good detail: "There's something that you two can't possibly understand...Kim is a wonderful person!! She's the best!!"
The boys silence Ox, knocking him to the floor before departing. As Kilik and Harvar D. Éclair attend to their friend, Ox tries to shrug off the fight, claiming that "punches from pussies and punks" do not compare to the punches he has received from Black☆Star.
Elsewhere, in the hallways below the Deapon Weapon Meister Academy, Maka is surprised to find Soul still in his gym attire. Her weapon explains that because Maka ordered him to meet with her quickly after gym, he skipped showers—hence changing. While he's annoyed to still be in a jacket and gym shorts, his meister comments he "look[s] cute." Soul, however, is also concerned whether they should be in this restricted area, even if, as he's surprised to learn, Maka is clutching the Death Scythe ID card of her "psycho-pervy dad." Maka claims it was easy—disturbing Soul as he hears how much gushing Spirit did. But when he learns Maka lied to her father, seeking his ID card to borrow a high-rank book from the library, Soul asks whether Maka lies like this often. She averts her eyes, sweats, and says this was her first time. Soul believes that like he believes he is the Pope. Annoyed at the suspicion, Maka pushes Soul along, claiming they only have so much time before lunch ends.
Maka arrives at the prison guard clearance station, claiming Spirit instructed her to give a message directly to Medusa. The guard admits Maka and Soul but refuses to let them into the powerful witch's cell for their own safety. With a candle, Maka lights the way through the hall to Medusa's cell. Soul reminds Maka that, as Medusa will not easily reveal Crona's location, this talk is going to be "a huge waste of time." Maka replies, "I know that," but thinks she must take some action.
Arriving in front of Medusa's cell, Maka realizes that she actually can sense the witch's soul. Within the cell, Medusa, feigning helplessness, asks for the people outside to bring her some water. Maka responds by kicking the door and demanding to know Crona's location. Feigning curiosity, Medusa asks who is speaking and pretends she herself does not know where Crona is. Frustrated that Medusa claims not to even remember who she is, Maka demands answers. Soul advises Maka that Medusa will never tell the truth and that it is pointless to anger herself. Soul then turns to the "bitch" of a witch to tell her that she should acclimate herself to "a pitch-black solitary confinement cell" for the rest of her life, suitable for such a "gutter hag." Putting an arm around Maka's shoulder, Soul guides her away, as Maka calls back to the "bitch" to expect to hear from the students again.
When the students are away from her cell, Medusa chuckles: she knew fully well that it was Soul and Maka outside of her cell, and she knows Shibusen will have no choice but to agree to her terms for her help.
Later, Spirit Albarn arrives in front of Medusa's cell. After listening to a prison guard's warnings about opening her door, Spirit enters with a lantern and Medusa's dinner. As Medusa feigns petulance at how bright the lantern is in the dark cell, she has Spirit spoonfeed her. Spirit is amused, finding this practice similar to how he used to feed his baby daughter. Spirit then reminds Medusa that she herself has a child, Crona, and out of that concern as a parent had best release her grasp upon Rachel Boyd's body.
Medusa claims she holds onto Rachel's body while she recharges her magic, at which point she will give up the child's body. Spirit chastises Medusa for effectively holding a child hostage, but Medusa says that it is not Rachel that protects her from Shibusen: it is the information she is willing to trade for her guaranteed safety. Although Spirit admits that Sid Barrett was able to find Brew just where Medusa promised, he thinks Medusa is still lying. Medusa requests that Spirit at least remove her restraints so she can loosen up, as he must recognize she cannot escape an academy full of meisters and weapons. As Spirit removes the bonds, he reminds her that she could have used her magic to remove them at any time—but Medusa takes pleasure from coercing Spirit to do so. As Medusa stretches in Rachel's body, Spirit's parental reflex kicks in: he cannot resist helping her pat the dust off her clothes.
Medusa announces her new demand: whereas the information about the witches within Death City and Brew's location were free gifts to Shibusen, she wants to speak with Lord Death in person.
While Lord Death does not trust Medusa, he determines her information about Arachnophobia will be useful. Medusa looks around nervously upon her entrance, claiming this is her first time encountering Death "face-to-face." She mocks Spirit for demonstrating any concern about her nervousness.
As Medusa stands before Death, his body seems to rumble. Death announces Medusa's crimes for putting the world into chaos—then unleashes a Shinigami Chop. Medusa—and Spirit—are stunned. As Spirit criticizes the reaper, Medusa remembers her hatred for "this stupid school culture" like the reaper's behavior.
Death then picks up Medusa by the back of her hoodie and holds her five-year-old body in the air, demanding explanation about her deal. As Medusa realizes Death is toying with her, she struggles to cover her exposed underwear. She is then annoyed at Spirit's reverie about how adorable Medusa—and his own daughter—looked in baby pumpkins pants. But remembering she must adapt her performance around Death and Spirit's silly behavior, she asks to be set down and seat herself to begin their discussion—only to find Death and Spirit debating whether it is acceptable for adults to wear children's underwear without it seeming kinky. Annoyed at "these assholes," Medusa shouts at the fools. Death apologizes for such discussions in front of a child—then picks Medusa up again by her hoodie, again exposing her underwear, and again making Spirit giddy over children's underwear. Fed up, Medusa threatens to kill Spirit with her vector arrows and attempts to depart. After Spirit and Death debate the merits of running gags, they promise to take the discussion more seriously if Medusa will stay in the room.
Medusa proposes her terms: she will reveal the location of Arachnophobia's headquarters at Baba Yaga Castle, including how to capture the castle, if and only if she is given full command of this DWMA operation. Spirit is outraged, but Medusa knows he has no other option.
Arachnophobia agents welcome back Mosquito, as he guides Kim Diehl and Jacqueline O'Lantern Dupre through the castle. He pauses before one very tall soldier, finding him to be most promising. Meanwhile, Kim and Jackie eye the soldiers, nervously.
A technician announces work on the Morality Manipulation Machine Demon Tool is complete, news that shocks a concerned Kim. As Mosquito directs the two students forward, Kim backs away, intending for her and her weapon to depart. Mosquito, feigning deafness with his old age, refuses their request, ordering Shibusen students to be seized.
As technicians grab Kim, Jacqueline, furious, transforms her left forearm into a lantern, prepared to burn away her opponents—until Mosquito, unleashing his form from 100 years ago, pins her to the floor. Jacqueline cannot move, watching as Kim is taken to the Morality Manipulation Machine to have her moral standards lowered, hence to reduce the guilt they feel and to make it easier for the witch and the weapon to carry out the actions that Arachnophobia has planned. Mosquito promises Jacqueline will undergo morality manipulation next, as technicians tie the weapon in blankets to prevent her heat from allowing escape.
Mosquito, now reverted to his usual form, watches as Jacqueline is escorted for morality reduction. He meditates on how Arachne "tends to be satisfied by the mere possession of such things" as the Morality Manipulation Machine. But upon learning from a technician that Arachne actually is practicing her magic and has "progressed to the third stage," Mosquito grins widely.
Elsewhere, Arachne closes her eyes, while there appears a spider web of swirling lines, some resembling arrows and some resembling eyes.
Manga and Anime Differences
- Whereas in Episode 40 Medusa’s nametag is misspelled on her dungeon, in the Yen Press English translation, her nametag is spelled correctly.
- Whereas in Episode 40 Soul accompanies Maka to Medusa’s holding cell in his usual attire, in this chapter he had skipped his shower after gym and is wearing his physical education attire.
- As well, in Episode 40 Maka and Soul come to Medusa’s holding cell without ever being shown as passing through dungeon security or showing Spirit’s ID card. In this chapter, Shibusen prevents anyone other than Death Scythes and their associates from seeing Medusa.
- This chapter also shows Maka is prevented from access to many Deapon Weapon Meister Academy rooms and items due to her meister status, whereas this point is not brought up for her in the anime. Both the manga and the anime, however, do show that some students such as Kid are prohibited from access from some items due to their meister status without proof of, for example, their status as shinigami.
- Many of Spirit's interactions are adapted differently in the anime.
- While his glee at Medusa's pumpkin bloomers, which remind him of his own baby daughter, is present in both the manga and the anime, the anime does not include other moments, such as his parental reflex to pat the dust off of Medusa's outfit, or his annoyance at Medusa's feigned precociousness.
- In this chapter, Spirit removes Medusa's bonds in her jail cell. In the anime, he first escorts Medusa all the way into the Death Room before removing her bonds.
- As well, in this chapter, Spirit brings to Medusa's cell dinner, whereas in the anime, he brings with him tools for torture.
- In Episode 40, Arachne’s Moral Manipulation Machine is shown to be a device, operating at numerous locations around the globe, to increase the spread of madness around the world. In this chapter, the Moral Manipulation Machine is introduced as a device to turn Kim and Jackie wicked.
- Maka’s shirt in the splash page is for DCity Killers. The sign above her says “Live or Die?”
- This chapter offers a rare glimpse in the original manga of Naigus without her customary bandages. This chapter and much of Soul Eater NOT! Show her face.
- The athletic field would reappear in Soul Eater NOT! for a physical exam given to the N.O.T. students. While Mira Naigus was present for this exam in the anime, she was not in the corresponding manga chapter.
- Towels in the Academy's boys’ shower room feature skulls.
- The times in the 100-meter dash were Kilik at the fastest with 6.08, with Maka at 8.92 seconds. Liz says Kid had attempted for eight seconds exactly, but his exact score is only referred to as "suck[ing]." Earlier, Black☆Star set a school record for 5.92 seconds.
- This chapter reveals Maka frequently uses her father's status as a Death Scythe to gain access to certain areas of the Academy. This fact foreshadows the revelation later that it was she who was "M," the person who took from the Deapon Weapon Meister Academy library the copy of the Book of Eibon. Kid had initially assumed "M" referred to Medusa. Funny enough, Spirit in this chapter comments that feeding Medusa is like when he fed his baby daughter, one of a few comparisons made throughout Soul Eater between Maka and Medusa.
- Maka is able to sense Medusa's soul within her cell, which either suggests Medusa turned off her soul protect, or foreshadows Maka's increased soul perception abilities, which are important towards locating Crona and the Kishin.
- This chapter confirms that Rachel is five years old.
- Medusa claims this occasion is her first face-to-face interaction with Death. While the two were physically in the same room during Shibusen Anniversary Party, and while she has worked at the Deapon Weapon Meister Academy previously, it is possible she is telling the truth. Even if she was not physically near Death, her soul protection may have allowed her to have never been identified as a witch by Death.
- Death's discussion with Spirit about comedy refers to a "tendon," repeating a comedy bit word-for-word as a running gag. "Tendon" refers literally to "tempura shrimp over rice," yet acquired this additional meaning because it is typical to receive two tempura shrimp in a single serving.
- Arachne's "third stage" of magic development likely is the Spiderweb magic in which she develops in later chapters. Part of this is hinted from the web itself having a complicated line structure featuring familiar images related to madness in this series, such as Medusa's vector arrows and the Kishin's eyes.
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 12: Yen Press English translation, Page 183