Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle (Part 2)
Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle
|←Chapter 46, "Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle (Part 1)||Chapter 48, "Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle (Part 3) →|
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|Medusa leads the DWMA students to Baba Yaga Castle, revealing along the way information that may motivate the cooperation of Maka Albarn and Ox Ford. Upon their arrival to Arachnophobia's headquarters, the students find Arachne's acolytes to be far more wacky than expected.|
Operation Capture Baba Yaga Castle (Part 2) is the forty-seventh serialized chapter of the manga Soul Eater. It was reprinted in tankōbon form in Volume 12.
Amazon River Basin, South America
A Mysterious Bear finally reaches the mineshaft leading into Baba Yaga Castle. Dressed in a dark suit but with a bear head, this man realizes he stands where Medusa's Shibusen troop entered. He is accompanied by a partner, who responds with grunts—because he is a Mysterious Monkey. Regardless, the Bear seems to understand what this "goddamn genius" of a monkey says. Even as the Bear decides to follow Medusa, he cannot stop laughing at the Monkey's supposedly hilarious remarks.
Medusa uses Vector Arrows to light the way through the mineshaft. Because Arachnophobia's security increases after sunset, she advises camping out for the night within the mineshaft. She warns Shibusen students to be careful.
While listening to Medusa, Maka Albarn senses the souls of the Bear and the Monkey. Before she warn her teammates that they are being followed by potential enemies, Death the Kid wraps his hands over her mouth, pulling her away. Kid explains the Bear and the Monkey are a Death Scythe and his meister trailing them without Medusa's knowledge as a safeguard against her treachery. But Maka cannot help but be surprised when Kid says the meister is an ape, which she and Kid confirm by sensing that ape's soul. While Maka and Kid celebrate over detecting that soul, Maka's partner is surprised at their giddiness over some secret information.
Kilik Rung interrupts, holding out to Kid the soul of the squid monster that they eliminated. Upon collecting the soul, both Soul Eater and Medusa notice that a light emanates from Kid's back pocket. When Soul comments on this fact, Kid is surprised anyone could sense that light. Kid claims he must have left the flashlight he was holding in his back pocket and switched it on. Patty Thompson accuses Kid of lying, with Liz Thompson corroborating that Kid would never hold one object in only one hand without being asymmetrical. Kid silently begs for the Thompsons to stop talking while he makes up more lies: "I'm a shinigami. [...] Flashes of light could appear anywhere on my body." While Soul thinks that ability is "some weird shit," Medusa realizes the truth: Kid is keeping Brew in his pocket, which activated upon the use of shinigami powers. Medusa considers when Kid intends to use that demon tool, whether as a threat to her.
Medusa is interrupted by Mizune with news to boost students' morale: Kim Diehl and Jacqueline O'Lantern Dupre are located here at Baba Yaga Castle. Kilik refuses to believe Kim, even as a witch, would join with Arachnophobia. Medusa responds that Arachne is very good at persuading victims by manipulating their weaknesses, drawing in such persons until, like a spider, she catches her prey in her web.
Soul calls Arachnophobia a religious cult, but Medusa says it is that very reason why Arachne's organization has enlarged, because all members worship Arachne like a maternal figure. Once Shibusen can kill Arachne and her top leaders, then the entire organization will fall apart on its own.
As Medusa directs the students to march forward, she concludes with a reminder that their mission now includes the opportunity to see and free Kim and Jacqueline. This news leaves Ox Ford quiet.
Once the students reach a portion of the mineshaft, its girders twisted to hold up the tunnel, Medusa orders the students to set up camp for the night to sleep. While her teammates unpack, Maka approaches Medusa, demanding to know Crona's location and why Medusa is willing to work with Shibusen to take down Arachnophobia. Maka reasons that Medusa chose students only so as to enact her plan with minimal difficulties but warns the witch that Maka will make sure to be a barrier to whatever Medusa plans: "We will crush you if it's the last thing we do."
Medusa does not escalate the argument, reminding Maka that, just like Maka's own father, she too is a parent concerned for her child: even if Crona is considered a terror, that child is her own, and she could not bear to be separated from Crona while that child resided away from her at the Academy. Stunned that Medusa would have any parental concern, Maka responds that Crona was much happier at the Academy and better off without such a malignant force like Medusa. Because Maka has been such a good friend to Crona, Medusa will tell the truth: "Crona was captured by Arachne, and she intends to use [Crona] as a human sacrifice." Medusa sacrificed Brew and herself, a witch, to Shibusen if it would save Crona. She concludes the discussion with an order for Maka to sleep before they continue their long trek through the mines into Baba Yaga Castle.
Maka cannot sleep. Already curled up in his sleeping bag, Soul reminds Maka that she must not trust Medusa's words, based on her fallacious nature. Although Maka agrees aloud, she looks ambivalent.
The Next Day
Because she can sense more Sensor Threads ahead, Medusa orders the students to be more careful as they follow her. Liz Thompson becomes exhausted, while Kid can sense "an unbelievable number of souls" ahead, which, as Medusa confirms, means they are already inside Baba Yaga Castle. Soul asks how they are to proceed, interrupted by someone waiting for them: Eruka, with a number of Arachnophobia outfits to disguise Medusa and Shibusen students. Fire and Thunder hide atop Kilik head within his cloak, while Eruka encourages Kid, who recognizes the witch, to forget about the Kishin Revival and just focus on this mission.
Medusa's team realizes how much all Arachnophobia agents look—making it difficult for Kid to determine which (if either) of his weapons to whom he speaks, as for all the team members to recognize each other. As the students panic, they realize Medusa has left them. Their reactions attract the attention of a chief for Arachnophobia, who seizes Maka for an assignment (not that her teammates know it is her). Other chiefs call forward other members, requiring the remaining students to split into three teams.
Maka asks the Chief supervising her what her task will be, learning it is to clean up one very messy room within Baba Yaga Castle. Among the broken furniture and alcohol bottles, Maka can see a familiar threat: the saw weapon Giriko. Giriko orders the uncover Maka to clean his room every half hour, as he tosses another empty bottle over his couch. As Maka announces she will get to work, Giriko realizes this masked Arachnophobia agent is "a woman or somethin'." He demands she remove her mask before he chops it off. Maka delays, unsure how to proceed because without her mask Giriko will recognize her from their previous battle in the Czech Republic.
Before Giriko can rip the mask off Maka, they are interrupted by two young women dressed as maids—Liz and Patty! Liz attempts to charm Giriko, finding the man "hot" and urging him to dismiss the masked Arachnophobia agent. Impressed, Giriko asks the attractive young women to join him for a drink. As Maka eagerly attempts to depart, she fails to notice one of the unshattered beer bottles, causing her to trip onto the floor, her mask bouncing off. She freezes, afraid Giriko will recognize her. But all Giriko says is how she is "gonna be a hot piece of ass in seven year...no, ten years." He dismisses her, not finding Maka attractive enough to join the Thompsons for a round of drinks. Once Maka is in the hallway and departs, she expresses relief that she escaped but also annoyance that Giriko did not see her as very mature in her face and wondering why "he added an extra three years" to his remark.
Baba Yaga Castle
At the same time, Mosquito confronts a challenge: he wonders where to move his Arachnophobia-themed chess pieces. Harvar D. Éclair, still in his Arachnophobia disguise, gives Mosquito a backrub, while a disguised Ox serves as Mosquito's opponent. Ox debates whether to play at his full ability or, given how poor a player Mosquito is, to soundly beat him at this game. Behind Mosquito, Harvar shakes his head, urging Ox to go easy on Mosquito, but Kilik, standing behind Ox, tells his friend to kick his ass. Mosquito calls out to Kilik to learn from this chess battle, which surprises the meister—and the twin weapons atop his head, struggling to stay still. Surprised at this behavior, Mosquito looks at Ox, demanding to know who he is. But seeing how odd Kilik looks, with two weapons atop his cloaked body, Mosquito assumes Kilik is a new Demon Tool Soldier. Harvar and Ox play along with this idea, as Fire breathes fire through the eyeholes of Kilik's mask.
Ox also praises Mosquito for putting in time for a chess game despite his busy schedule. But Mosquito grows more somber, complaining he has free time now that Arachne does not wish to let him into her room any longer, instead favoring the attention of "that blasted sorcerer."
Someone else's bedroom
Two DWMA students, disguised as Arachnophobia agents, stand before a frilly, comfortable bed. A disembodied hand, clutching a bat, is before them. The students thought this assignment to play hide-and-seek with a little witch girl would be simple.
Earlier, the Chief informed the students that Angela Leon is still young, so she has not mastered invisibility, leaving her hands visible. The students are ordered to pretend Angela is completely invisible—otherwise, should she be told her magic is not yet sufficient, an embarrassed Angela will never stop crying.
The students pretend to not notice the hand and the bat, but one of the students, annoyed that the samurai near them is not intervening, is uncertain what Angela intends to do with that bat in this punishment game. But then the student sees where Angela is aiming with her bat: right at his groin. The bat connects, Angela loses her invisibility, and Soul Eater is down on the floor, clutching his injured manhood.
Angela turns invisible—save for her hand—and demands another round. The other disguised student, Death the Kid, struggling to hold back tears anticipating the pain about to be experienced, tries to sound tough: "I play to win!" But as Kid thinks he will not let his teammate Soul be alone in experiencing this pain, he also hopes that Angela knocks him in the groin symmetrically.
Baba Yaga Castle
The Shibusen team is back where they started—only collapsed on the floor, whether from exhaustion, injured groins, or, as for Liz and Patty (still dressed as maids), joy from hanging out with an inebriated Giriko. Kid demands to know what his weapons were doing, but they are hesitant to answer.
The students are criticized by a masked Arachnophobia agent, claiming she has been looking everywhere for them. Realizing this masked agent is Medusa, all of the students (except a confused Liz) tearfully clutch their leader, happy to see her again. Medusa explains she had departed temporarily to set up their next steps, which they may now begin.
- The Yen Press translation included in Volume 12 has Medusa tell Ox about Kim and Jacqueline, "So just I wanted to pass the information along to you quickly." This statement has a typo: "just" and "I" are juxtaposed, so the correct dialogue should be, "So I just wanted to pass the information along to you quickly."
- The mineshaft includes arrows, similar to those that are part of Medusa's powers and attire as well as the design to Patchwork Laboratory and the final outfit Shaula Gorgon wears in Soul Eater Not! This arrow may be a marker left by Medusa to identify the path towards Baba Yaga Castle. However, if Arachne had some hand in forming this mineshaft, this evidence may suggest Arachne's powers, or the powers of the Gorgon family at large, or madness itself includes some arrow motif.
- When Angela slams her stick into Soul's groin, the sound effect in Japanese is "Chin," which is similar to the Japanese slang "chin chin" (penis), identifying where Angela clubbed Soul. The Yen Press translation uses a suitably similar sound effect that also can refer to the penis: "dong."
- This chapter foreshadows one of the manga's first presentations of Noah, wielding the Book of Eibon and who is referred to by Mosquito in this chapter as "that blasted sorcerer" due to his impersonation of Eibon.
- Liz and Patty's actions with Giriko, as well as what happened to Giriko, will be revealed in a later chapter. As well, so will Tezca Tlipoca and Enrique's participation in the siege on Baba Yaga Castle.
- ↑ Soul Eater Volume 12: Yen Press English translation, pages 123, 183