The Witch's Research (Part 1)
|←Chapter 65: "Black Wings vs. White Wings"||Chapter 67: "The Witch's Research (Part 2)" →|
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|Azusa Yumi guides a mission for meisters Kim Diehl and Kilik Rung, with their weapons and Liz and Patty Thompson, to explore Medusa's underground research facility found in Central Africa. As they discover more information about Crona, the members of Spartoi face locals inflected by madness and Medusa's latest creation, the Black Clown.|
The Witch's Research (Part 1) is the sixty-sixth serialized chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It was reprinted in tankōbon form in Volume 16.
Town, Central Africa
Kilik Rung guides Pot of Fire and Pot of Thunder towards finding their destination. From a mobile command post, Azusa Yumi contacts Kilik, and Liz and Patty Thompson via wireless headsets to confirm that these students have reached the designated point. Upon confirmation, Azusa provides the mission briefing:
Kilik's team must locate Medusa's facility to ascertain which research she has conducted. Fire and Thunder will use their Earth Shaman abilities to find the exact location. As Azusa has not confirmed whether Medusa is still within that facility, the students must be prepared for combat.
Azusa adds that Kilik, as a Utility Meister capable of synchronizing with different weapon types, should vary his weapon choices, using Fire and Thunder for close-range combat and Liz and Patty for long-range combat. Azusa will use her Thousand-Mile Eyes to gather intelligence through Kilik's eyes as he explores Medusa's facility. But as Medusa likely is writing in Witch Text, Azusa will relay what Kilik sees to Kim Diehl, who flies nearby on Jacqueline O'Lantern Dupre and will interpret those texts.
After Azusa concludes her orders, Fire and Thunder draw Kilik's attention to a square outlining in the ground, which opens to reveal a staircase. With the Thompsons and Pots transformed and on his person, Kilik descends the stairs. While dark, Kilik finds a number of writings and specimens that seem like that of a witch like Kilik. He also spies for any traps. Yet Kilik is distracted as Patty decides to engage in a staring contest with an eyeball kept in a jar. Liz mocks her sister for not allowing the eye to retain is "eye-dentity" before conversing with Kilik about how Azusa "puts the 'eye' in eyesight." Annoyed, Azusa calls through the Demon Tool Incom to get back to work or get "kick[ed] in the ass."
Re-focused by Azusa's orders, Kilik finds a laboratory table with beakers filled with black liquid, as well as papers. Azusa orders Kilik to pass his eyes over all that he sees while she uses her Thousand-Mile Eyes to copy all that he sees. Upon copying numerous pages of paper, Azusa concludes the mission and orders Kilik to depart. Meanwhile, Azusa contacts Kim and links the two with Thousand-Mile Eyes so the witch may read Medusa's texts. There are some words Kim can make out: "Madness," "Black Blood," "Kishin," but the last one surprises her: "Crona." Kim realizes that Medusa is researching the magic of manipulating madness.
Upon climbing up the steps again to the surface, Kilik, although blinded by the bright sun, is surprised that he did not encounter any enemies. Then he finds himself approached by three locals in town. Kilik apologizes for his arrival into their town, introducing himself as from the DWMA. When Patty notices the locals have something odd about their eyes (and which she thinks would impress Azusa), Liz realizes something is wrong—especially when the locals remove guns. Kilik dodges behind a wall, runs down an alley, and takes up the Demon Pistols, telling Liz and Patty to adjust their wavelength nonlethal rounds to return fire. He manages to knock back two of the locals, but three more locals appear at the end of the alley—one ready to throw a Molotov cocktail. The bottle is tossed at Kilik, and fire explodes in the alley.
But Kilik avoids emoluation, managing to leap up the narrow walls to land on the roof. Although he thinks he is clear, however, more locals appear with additional firearms. Kilik finds covers to avoid lethal injury, returning fire. As he fires, however, Patty warns him that an RPG is coming at him. Kilik leaps off the roof in time to fall upon another roof before the explosion consumes him.
Kilik calls to Kim through Incom, asking for backup, but even in the air she is being fired upon from the rooftops as well. Kilik runs across rooftops and dives through an open window, rolling into a ball to land relatively safely. But Kilik can still hear Kim and Jacqueline struggling to escape the rounds.
Azusa calls Kim and Kilik to inform them that she will use Thousand-Mile Eyes to establish a rendezvous point, at which point she will give both meisters explicit instructions to move exactly as she instructs. As Kilik runs through the hallways of one building so to leap from one building's window into an adjacent building, Kim flies around to that adjacent building. Azusa tells Kilik he has reached his destination "straight ahead," but all he sees is a wall ahead of him. "What are you, some kind of a wimp?" Azusa asks. "If you're a man, then smash through it!!" Kilik does as instructed, leaping through the now smashed wall to find Kim flying at him. He takes hold of Jacqueline as Kim increases speed to fly them away from the city.
With weapons transformed (and Patty playing with Fire and Thunder), Kim confirms via Incom with Azusa that they have arrived at their rendezvous, a hill with a tree atop it. Azusa informs Kim that the DWMA will seal off the town before signing off. Kim then explains to Kilik what she read in Medusa's research: the witch is manipulating madness, beginning with the town residents. Kim adds that information that Medusa wrote about Crona implies that their friend is "probably already...you know..." Liz asks whether they can bring those manipulated by madness back to normal, with Kim answering that Medusa seems to have taken away all critical research. Jacqueline suggests Black☆Star and Tsubaki Nakatsukasa may find useful information during their mission.
As the students speak, what appear like Vector Arrows emerge from the ground. The top of a head then appears, all of which alerts first Fire and Thunder, then Kim. Behind them is a smirking being of Black Blood, but it is not Ragnarok. It introduces itself as the Black Clown, a Man-Made Clown made by Medusa who invites his audience into madness.
- This chapter refers to Kilik as a Utility Meister. In the original Japanese, the kanji used for "utility" is "all-purpose," which implies that Kilik has the versatility to synchronize with multiple weapons.
- This chapter refers to Kim's full name as Kimial Diehl (Japanese: Kimiaaru Diiru).
- In the original Japanese, Atsushi Ohkubo includes yet another musical allusion through Kilik and Liz's puns on the word "jam," referring to not only bullets stuck in a gun's chamber but also to play improvisationally.
- Medusa's research facility includes an eyeball in a jar, similar to one that appeared in her other research facility in the anime before Eruka blew up it, along with Sid Barrett and Mira Naigus.
- Liz and Patty use varying honorifics when referring to Azusa. Liz refers to her with "-onee" ("big sister"), to show that Liz respects Azusa's age and talent but sees her more as a peer than as an instructor. Patty, on the other hand, refers to Azusa as "Azusa-san," showing camaraderie for Azusa but less respectful address than Liz.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Soul Eater Volume 16: Yen Press Translation, Page 186
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Soul Eater Volume 16: Yen Press Translation, Page 187