Salvage (Part 6)
|←Chapter 76||Chapter 78 →|
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|Upon facing a recalcitrant and still insane Kid, Black Star is offered an opportunity for power from the Black Mass. Meanwhile, the battle between Maka and Giriko comes to an explosive end.|
Salvage (Part 6) is the seventy-seventh chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It is collected as part of Volume 19.
Images of Death the Kid and Black Star appear, alongside images of Eibon, Excalibur, Death, Asura, and the Black Mass. The caption describes one young man's desire for order, and one young man's desire for power.
In the next image, Patty Thompson is about to crush her friends at a mosh pit.
Against a field of white, Black Star faces the madness-influenced Death the Kid. Below their feet, a ripple forms until both young men are immersed in what looks and feels to Black Star like water. Realizing he still can breathe, Black Star attempts to persuade Kid to escape with him from the book, only to see the stoic reaper even more subdued, as if he is hardly breathing.
While calling Black Star "too big," Kid remembers how, as a child, he listened to his father explain how, even though most people assume that shinigami "are the absolute authorities on maintaining order" in order to "preside over people's lives and deaths," actually "that's not really what we're about." Back then, Kid assumed Death had meant that what they are about is "balance." Kid then remembers how much he impressed his classmates with his strength--except perhaps Black Star, who claims he will unseat Kid as someone who "transcends the gods" themselves. At that time in the past, Black Star's remark intrigued Kid: the young reaper had welcomed this new "friend" to fight him whenever he desired.
In the present, Kid explains to Black Star his new goal: he plans to "create nothingness," and he cannot do so as long as someone so "large" as Black Star is alive. Kid is mildly surprised to hear that Black Star is relieved by this remark: Kid, even now under madness, unlike so many other people, still refuses to mock Black Star and still is willing to face the ninja as a combative threat. Kid attempts to back away from this image that Black Star has of him, telling the ninja that his presence is simply an annoyance in such a place as the Book. As Black Star again calls out, as he had before, that he will transcend the gods, Kid rushes at his opponent, kicking him back through the water.
Black Star recovers from the kick, yet he recognizes the difficulty of fighting in what feels like water: it is slowing him down. Nevertheless, he charges his soul resonance to form the move Soul Menace--which Kid barely dodges. Both opponents then realize that the water conducts soul wavelengths better than air.
Black Star then reminds himself he is here not to fight Kid but to bring him back to Shibusen. Even these thoughts are distracted, however, by the return of the Black Mass. As Kid protests the being's intrusion into their battle, he finds himself immobilized in the water. The Black Mass explains he is impartial: he will give power to whoever he desires, so he asks Black Star about "the nature of the power" that he desires. Thinking of an answer, a star forms in Black Star's right eye, suggesting he, like Kid, has fallen under the sway of madness.
Giriko cackles. With 800 years of bloodlust pent up across so many bodies that she has possessed, Giriko depended on Arachne as her tether. But now without that witch to be his anchor, Soul and Maka will be the target of Giriko's collective rage to pour out in her assault. The power of Giriko's soul's bloodlust pushes Maka back, as the chainsaw weapon continues: Giriko will toy with the duo in battle, drawing the pain out longer so that Giriko can hold onto that bloodlust for so long, almost receiving sexual satisfaction from holding in that rage.
After Soul asks whether Maka is okay after Giriko's last hit, Maka notices how much Giriko's soul wavelength has increased. As the Little Ogre suggests repeating the Soul Adagio, Maka prepares Soul Perception, only for Giriko's wavelength to disrupt, causing saw-like tendrils to erupt from Soul's piano and knocking the young man across the Black Blood Room. Soul realizes that the loudness of Giriko's wavelength overwhelms any sound his piano could produce.
With Soul and Maka distracted, Giriko uses the opportunity to dash at Maka, knocking her down again. Even as Maka attacks with Witch-Hunt Slash, the next blow from Giriko's wavelength brings Maka to her knees, until she is unable to lift her arms. Giriko grasps Maka by the young woman's head. Remembering that it was simply this teenager who managed to kill the much older Arachne, Giriko's fury increases. Realizing she herself cannot hold onto this fury much longer, even as she enjoys the battle to the point of "startin' to think [she] love[s Maka]," Giriko decides to bring the battle to an end.
As Giriko announces her intention, Soul emerges from his meister's blade, kicking back Giriko. As Giriko reiterates her desire to kill, she pauses. Soul notices something "wrong with that new body," and Maka realizes the problem: having held back so much bloodlust, Giriko's soul is ready to explode from all of that fury. Blades emerge out of Giriko's body, the fury in her soul seeming to burst like water from a dam. Maka suggests Giriko sit upon one of the chairs available in the Sloth Chapter, but Giriko refuses, recognizing that it was by falling asleep earlier that he was unable to rescue Arachne in time from Soul and Maka.
Giriko forces herself to stand and marches towards Maka. Even as Giriko towers over her, Maka mocks the opponent, asking her to rest before that stress kills her. This remark is the end of Giriko: she cries that her soul will hold--only for it to explode. Arachne's lackey collapses onto her knees amidst all the furniture in the Sloth Chapter: Giriko is dead.
The chapter ends with someone saying, "Ha ha! And with that, it exploded."
Manga and Anime Differences