Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle (Part 13)
Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle
|←Chapter 57: "Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle (Part 12)"||Chapter 59: "Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle (Part 14)" →|
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|Maka Albarn and Medusa Gorgon determine how to defeat Arachne Gorgon, now that their attacks are less effective against the now intangible Spider Witch. Attuning her Soul Wavelength to that of Asura himself, Arachne's Madness infects the minds of all nearby combatants, Shibusen and Arachnophobia alike.|
Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle (Part 13) is the fifty-eighth serialized chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It was reprinted in tankōbon form in Volume 15.
Arachne's Room: The Spider Queen Room
Continuing immediately from the previous chapter, Maka Albarn and Medusa look up to the ceiling at the madness coming towards them. Maka is surprised to sense that Arachne's presence is now within the madness itself filling up the throne room. Medusa explains that, as the body as nothing but a vessel, Arachne is truly within that madness only. Arachne's disembodied madness forms spider webs that scrape across the floor; Maka dodges, only for more to appear behind her—then, once Maka and Soul Eater sense Arachne's presence within the web, disappears. Tendrils of the madness envelope Maka from above, until Medusa rushes towards the meister and uses Vector Storm to shield against Arachne. As the arrows wrap around the madness, Medusa performs Compress Vectors, decreasing the size of this overall essence of Arachne into a small ball that comes to rest upon the floor.
But Medusa's Compress Vector fails: Arachne's madness explodes outward. Maka and Medusa are pushed back by the forceful exit yet stay on their feet. As Arachne explains to her sister that she has discarded her body to become madness herself, Medusa realizes Arachne's goal: she has become madness itself so she may attune her soul wavelength to that of the Kishin and then absorb Asura. Arachne confirms: With the world consumed in madness, she will provide a haven, hence Arachne will be not only the mother of all demon weapons but "the mother of all things."
Medusa mocks her older sister, claiming Arachne's so-called creation of weapons owes not to her but to following the instructions already written in the Book of Eibon. Arachne reminds Medusa that what matters is not the plan or even the implementation. Rather, Arachne argues, it is how well someone can gain something from these actions, and Medusa should know: she could not attract Franken Stein, despite her desire for Stein. Medusa smirks, claiming that of course anyone would be attracted to Stein, as he had creativity, which Arachne sorely lacks. Medusa then remembers that it was Arachne who mocked the possession of Rachel Boyd to assume this child's body, yet Arachne has given up her own body to look so "much more ridiculous" as just wisps of madness.
Arachne's madness approaches, then encircles Medusa in blackness. Medusa hallucinates: she finds herself initially alone, stuck on a spider's web. The mad black cloud forms off of Medusa's cloak, forming into a more spider-like form of her sister. Arachne still thinks Medusa looks ridiculous as a child but has no intention to plunge Medusa into madness, announcing that she instead will tear apart Medusa's mind to devour it, then sounds of eating are heard.
Outside of Medusa's hallucination, she collapses onto the floor. Soul recognizes Arachne as performing the same attack onto Medusa that she used against him earlier, but Arachne assures the "young man" that this magic is far stronger than anything she used against him.
While still separate from her body, Arachne reforms her physical appearance, still more spider-like, from the cloud of black madness to confront Maka. Maka demands Arachne inform her where is Crona, while Arachne, recognizing Maka's Soul Perception abilities and Anti-Demon Wavelength just from the look in the meister's eyes, realizes why Medusa brought this DWMA student. While Maka is intimidating, Arachne toys with the meister, promising to make her terrified then plunge her into madness. Maka leaps and flips away before Arachne's attack reaches her, slicing away at the madness.
Even when Maka uses Soul's blade to behead this misty manifestation of Arachne, Soul realizes that their attacks are not landing any hits: Arachne can reconstitute herself. Arachne reminds her opponents that, so long as she has left her bodily form, no physical attacks can hurt her. With Soul's pressing, Maka remembers their fight against The Clown, realizing they must use Demon-Hunt Slash against Arachne.
Baba Yaga Castle, exterior
DWMA forces continue to fight Arachnophobia agents. As Tsubaki Nakatsukasa holds onto her injured meister, Sid Barrett orders Mira Naigus to tend to Black Star's wounds. Sid assures his peers, and himself, that Black Star will recover.
But the battle between the DWMA and Arachnophobia stops: all combatants freeze, then clutch their heads. Sid is shocked, until he and Tsubaki feel something in their heads as well.
Baba Yaga Castle interior
Ox Ford, seeing Kim Diehl clutches her head, asks whether she is alright. Jacqueline O'Lantern Dupré is surprised Harvar D. Éclair does not realize what all of them are feeling, until he determines that they are now feeling madness. Kilik Rung, struggling to hold against the madness, mocks Harvar as too hardheaded to notice. Then Kilik can feel the madness assume the form of thousands of spiders, swarming through his head, ripping him apart from inside.