Claymore – 17
In the dungeon below the ruins, Clare is shocked to find that Jean has already Awakened, but even more surprising is that Jean has managed to keep her human consciousness intact and now wants Clare to kill her. Clare, however, recognizes that there’s a chance that Jean can still return to being human, so she urges Jean to turn back and activates her own power. By trying something similar to what she saw Galatea do, Clare succeeds in changing Jean back into a human. Back upstairs, Galatea is having a lot of trouble with Dauf when the other two finally make their way back. Jean offers to hold their opponents back so that the other two can escape and gives her life to Clare to do whatever she wants with it, but Galatea prefers instead that they all work together to bring down Dauf. While Galatea and Clare hold him off, Jean prepares to use her attack which is the fastest and most powerful of all the Claymores by winding up her arm.
However, just as Jean is about to strike, Dauf slams Clare and Galatea together and protects his own face with his hand. Jean’s spiraling attack has no problem breaking through the hand, but it’s not enough to reach Dauf’s face, and he responds by punching her into the ground. Riful thinks that this means the battle is over, but when Clare stands up again, Riful makes it clear that she really doesn’t want to kill Clare – she just wants to make them Awaken. Clare meanwhile asks Jean to repeat her special attack and to entrust her life to her. After instructing Jean to go for Dauf’s throat, Clare attacks Dauf by herself until Jean can wind up her arm again. Seeing how Clare is able to keep Dauf busy, Riful notes that how much Clare is swinging her borrowed arm. Dauf doesn’t notice what Jean is doing until after she’s finished, and Clare is able to stop his subsequent projectile attacks from hitting her new ally.
Promising to create a path, Clare has Jean attack first while she herself focuses her Quick Sword technique to Dauf’s Yoma energy so that her sword only hits his arms and not Jean too. When this succeeds, Dauf tries to shoot more rods out of his mouth, but that mouth gets closed by a weakened Galatea using her powers, allowing Jean to drill through his throat. Unfortunately, Jean doesn’t get the opportunity to turn around and finish Dauf off because Riful then enters the battle and throws Jean into the ground. With Riful seemingly open, Clare suddenly attacks and manages to slice her sword down Riful’s head, but the young girl’s body then explodes into dark-colored strips that expand in every direction. It completely reduces the ruins to rubble, and Riful reforms her body in the open area that she’s created.
Riful’s not thrilled that things didn’t end before becoming like this, and she apologizes to Dauf for neglecting him. Turning her attention back to Galatea and Clare, Riful remembers her promise to Clare to tell her about the man of the north if Clare could cut her, so she reveals that the man’s name is Isley and that he rules the northern lands as the Silver King. She feels that if they want to defeat him, they should become her comrades – that’s the one and only way. Saying that she’ll be waiting until then, Riful takes Dauf and disappears in a swirl. With the fight now over, Clare falls to her knees because of how far away everything seems to her, but Galatea gets back to her original mission immediately and is ready to force Clare to return to the Organization. Clare, however, refuses to go because she still has something that she prioritizes over everything else.
Galatea takes that to mean Clare has chosen to return to the Organization as a corpse, but Jean then steps in to defend Clare. Jean has decided to use her life for the sake of the person who saved her, and she doesn’t care if she’s targeted by the Organization because she considers her life to have already been lost. Hearing this, Galatea turns her back towards them and suggests that lowly ranked Claymores like them wouldn’t have survived an encounter with an Abyssal One. She’s letting them go for now, and while she warns that she doesn’t know if they’ll be allies or enemies the next time they meet, she also tells them to stay alive until then. Meanwhile, marching in a snowstorm to the north, four Claymores come face to face with a small army of Awakened Beings, and two of them are immediately killed.
I was a little surprised that none of the major players in this arc died at the end of it. At the very least, I thought that Jean or Dauf wouldn’t make it, but they all pulled through and the story appears to be shifting towards something of a grander scale with the three Abyssal Ones, Priscilla, and a whole lot of Awakened Beings. Raki has been all but excluded from this, particularly since Clare’s new focus seems to be going after Priscilla rather than finding him, but I don’t mind too much since it’s much more exciting thinking about the possibility of a three or four-way conflict than about Clare searching for Raki.
The end of this episode and the preview for next episode show a snowy landscape, so the Claymores – a lot of them – are headed north against Isley, Priscilla, and his forces, and it looks like Miria will be showing up again.