The War on the Moon (Part 4)
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|Franken Stein and Marie Mjolnir finally face Joe Buttataki's killer, Justin Law, on the surface of the Moon. Meanwhile, the remaining Death Scythes join Death the Kid in this battle against the Clown Army. Finally, Sid Barrett prepares to enter the Moon's interior to find Asura's location but is surprised to find Noah and Gopher already present.|
Franken Stein, experiencing the effects of Asura's madness, still considers how much destruction he will unleash in learning about himself and humanity from this war, like how so much wrapping paper is torn from a gift box before learning what present is inside. With each clown he kills, he sees stars explode—but which are really the innards of these clowns. Spirit Albarn realizes that Stein's madness, while powerful against Asura's army, could endanger everyone, even with Marie Mjolnir's Healing Wavelength.
Spirit transforms into the hands of a DWMA soldier, demanding to be wielded in this battle. With one swing, the soldier tests Spirit's incredible power, with Spirit pleased that he can resonate with someone he barely knows. Noticing Spirit's actions, Stein compliments his peer's ability to draw the best out of any meister's wavelength, before adding, "No wonder the women all love him." Marie Mjolnir breaks the fourth wall, realizing Stein is still lucid enough to explain Spirit's abilities to readers.
When Spirit's meister notices a clown biting into one weapon, the Death Scythe transforms into energy, out of his meister's hands, and into another that weapon's meister's hands, destroying the weapon. Soldiers proceed to toss Spirit back and forth across the battlefield to eliminate clowns quickly.
As Stein destroys more clowns, Justin Law is frustrated how long these DWMA soldiers defile Asura's Moon. Justin smashes his fists into the surface, form the pillars for his guillotine. But as his powers are augmented by Asura's madness, Justin is able to form multiple pairs of pillars throughout the land's surface, with soldiers standing in-between these pillars. Stein can sense already what is happening, but Justin chides these soldiers as too late: as blades form between these pillars, Stein initiates his technique, Schmidt, beheading and dismembering soldiers across the battlefield.
But Stein evaded the guillotines in time, dashing until he is before Justin, ready to strike. Realizing Stein was too fast, Justin hastily constructs a guillotine in front of himself, which slices down through Stein's torso—or, rather, an after-image of Stein, as Justin realizes Marie somehow produced an illusion that allows Stein to emerge behind Justin. Before Stein can attack, however, Justin constructs at least three more guillotine, in a consecutive path, as Stein barely dodges each one.
Marie warns Stein that, as a stationary weapon, Justin may have already left traps throughout the Moon's surface. Justin mocks Marie's warning, promising that she will have little need to worry about Stein's body for much longer, once he slices the scientist into bits. Justin thinks he need only wait for Stein to exhaust himself until he slows down, but Stein promises that he cannot be stopped.
Stein leaps before Carcan Bros can hold him by the ankle, leaping forward, electricity crackling off of him with each leap. Justin produces a path of guillotines between himself and Stein, but the scientist leaps through their openings, bragging he is so fast that Justin's blades could not even catch the tail of his labcoat. To back up his claim, Stein slams Marie's weapon form into Justin's chest, an explosion of lightning breaking through Justin's body and knocking his body along the Moon's surface.
As Stein stands, smoke billows from Marie's weapon form. Marie speaks to Justin: "I've given you the very best wavelengths I have. Now atone for the many sins you have committed up to this day." Half of Justin's clown mask is gone, smoke from his eye wafting upward. Within Justin's something thumps. He clutches his chest and coughs up blood. Stein realizes that Justin contained the explosion that Marie implanted with her electricity but warns that the damage was fatal: "You are dead."
Facing his approaching death, Justin asks who will die first: himself, or Marie. Regardless, Justin intends to dedicate his last moments of life to serving Asura.
From the nasal passages of the Moon, Sid Barrett watches the battle below. He asks his peers to hang on while he contacts Azusa Yumi to announce his team is about to enter the Moon's nose to find Asura. He turns to Akane Hoshi and Clay Sizemore, ordering the two to remain and, if Sid does not return, to assume he has died in combat. Akane agrees and warns his teacher to be careful.
Back on the surface's battlefield, Spirit continues to move between weapons to destroy clowns. Among the pile of clowns' remains stands Kaguya in her Pelt of the Fire Rat. Death the Kid brags to her that she is the last clown standing. Kaguya smirks, claiming these clowns were not "the only forces protecting both Kishin-sama and my chastity." Along the Moon's surface, the remains of the clowns form into dark orbs with flames along their tops. The orbs rise upward, and below them are dark stalks. Kaguya chuckles, claiming that more soldiers can be made because Asura's madness is "as abundant as water." But then Kaguya blushes, covering her body with the Pelt on the expectation that, at the mention of water, Kid is not imagining her bathing.
The clowns have reformed, including White Rabbit, whom Stein had destroyed in the Demon Airship's engine room. But Kid is focused on what has towered above him and Spirit: a long-legged spider-like creature covered with eyes. Kaguya brags about her "personal guard," only to be corrected by one clown that they do not serve her.
Although sweating, Kid smiles. While he desired to beat out of Kaguya the information about Asura's location, Kid says he need not do so: "Auntie taught me the way." Kid's grin curls upward, his outfit darkening and a familiar cravat appearing around his neck: as he resembles how he did when facing the Great Old One of Power, Kid feels madness take ahold of him. He dashes forward, blasting away clowns with the Thompsons in demon pistol form. Dengu Dinga announces he will join Kid in battle, transforming into his Death Scythe form to be wielded by Alexandre.
Jinn Galland is already in weapon form, wielded by Zubaidah, as they use The Tower to knock into the towering spider clown. While knocking the clown back, its arms reform like a scorpion's pincers. Jinn responds by unleashing Bind Ivy, plants forming from the tower to wrap around the spiders' legs. The Tower holds onto the ivy, tugging onto the spider and finally knocking it to the ground.
Elsewhere, one of the Thompsons warns Kid that White Rabbit and another clown are approaching Kid, who already sees the two, knocking them down. While madness has empowered Kid, he worries that, without Maka Albarn's Anti-Demon Wavelength in Chain Resonance, madness will soon overwhelm him.
- One clown has lips and teeth that resemble those of Soul Eater's E.A.T. headband badge.
- Marie Mjolnir is momentarily self-aware that she is in a manga, as she realizes Stein is giving exposition for readers about Spirit's ability to adjusts his wavelength so well. This is one of a few instances of meta-textual references in Atsushi Ohkubo's works, including Tsugumi Harudori explaining obscure words to Anya Hepburn by pointing to a definition off-panel.
- Justin Law's Schmidt attack may allude to Franz Schmidt, the official German executioner for Bamberg and Nuremberg from 1573 to 1617. Schmidt recorded his 45-year career in a personal journal, detailing 361 executions and 365 lesser punishments.
- With his Schmidt attack, Justin can create a path of guillotines through which Stein passes, similar to the line of guillotines that lead from the Death Weapon Meister Academy into the Death Room.
- Stein is capable of fast movements and, due to Marie's electrical abilities, leaves bits of lightning along the ground, similar to the fast superhero The Flash from DC Comics.
- Jinn's technique the Tower alludes to one of the tarot cards from the Major Arcana, "The Tower". The name of this technique and its general depiction also potentially refer to the Tower of Babel, which according to the Book of Genesis was built in the city of Babylon, alluding to both Jinn and Zubaidah's West Asian descent. The Tower's appearance also bears a small resemblance to the golem in the Soul Eater Repeat Show opening.