Claymore – 20
In a snowy forest, Priscilla’s clinging to Raki prompts Isley to suggest that it’s Raki’s smell of the south that’s reminding her of her family, though this family had been eaten by a Yoma. The three of them are then passed by a man who warns them not to approach Pieta because of the Claymores gathered – something that suggests the presence of Yoma too. Hearing about the Claymores prompts Raki to push away Priscilla and declare that he has to go to Pieta, but Isley says that they’re headed in the same way and convinces Raki to stay with them for Priscilla’s sake. They then set up camp for the night and when Isley asks, Raki reveals that he’s searching for a Claymore named Clare. Recalling that he wouldn’t be here without her, Raki has decided to protect her. Although he admires Raki’s resolve, Isley questions if Raki has the power to do that, and he takes Raki’s sword for some practice. As he swings the sword around, Isley tells Raki that weak people cling onto words and that people who have power die for those without it. Isley feels that powerlessness is a sin, and as this sinks into Raki’s mind, he asks Isley to teach him how to wield a sword. As a test, Isley swings at Raki’s head, but stops just short of hitting it, and seeing that Raki didn’t even flinch, he agrees to teach him.
Meanwhile, in Pieta, Clare is thinking about Raki, and Flora is spying on Clare, taking particular notice of her right arm. Some of the other Claymores are resting and talking amongst themselves about how they’re not afraid of dying, but rather of Awakening. After Undine expresses her disdain and walks out, Deneve tells the others not to worry because Undine is only feeling on edge. Deneve then pays a visit to the equipment storehouse and finds a very hostile sounding Undine changing in the adjoining room. When she notices the two swords that Undine left in the main room, Deneve asks why one of them has a different emblem. Undine claims that she took it from a Claymore who died, but Deneve knows that a Claymore’s sword usually becomes her gravestone, and she recalls that Undine had held onto the sword so tightly during the battle. Deneve thinks that Undine just acts brashly for the sake of her comrades, and her suspicions are confirmed when she opens the door to the other room and finds Undine shivering and crying in the cold with none of her usual muscles. She then suggests that Undine is terrified of the thought of almost going over her limit, but she doesn’t feel that there’s anything to be ashamed about.
Deneve deduces that Undine had originally been a frail warrior who had relied on a fellow Claymore until that Claymore died. At that point, Undine had taken her friend’s sword and vowed to become stronger than anyone else. Undine starts to get angry about Deneve having figured all that out, but the two are interrupted by Helen arriving in the other room. To prevent Helen from discovering Undine, Deneve goes out and tells her that there’s only livestock feed in the next room. After Helen changes and leaves, Deneve returns to Undine and reveals that she had a sister who gave herself up to a Yoma in order to save her. With her family dead, Deneve had become a defensive-type Claymore who harbored stronger feelings of not wanting to die. In the end, it was Helen telling her that it was natural for them not to want to die because they’re human that brought Deneve from despair and is the reason she’s alive now. Deneve now reminds Undine that she has comrades who can support her, so she doesn’t need to push herself so hard.
During this time, Flora has taken Clare to the outskirts of town and confronts her about her arm. Flora knows all about Irene, but Clare remains silent about it even as Flora gets ready to draw her sword to test its power. However, Jean steps in first because of her debt, and she gets Flora to back down. Since Flora feels that trust is needed for them to fight together, Clare finally reveals how the arm is borrowed from Irene and how she has to keep fighting to kill Priscilla for the sake of the person she lost. Realizing that everyone has their own reason to fight, Flora draws her sword and pledges to live through this together with them, and the other two join her. Back in town, Undine returns to her team, and they try to apologize for earlier and say that they’re not afraid, but Undine now cares more about them recovering from their injuries. Later that night, Helen finds a Claymore outside crying, so she throws the girl an apple and tells her that it’s natural to be afraid because they’re human. Seeing those two, Miria hopes that everyone gathered here can survive, but she worries about the power of Isley.
At that time, Isley has brought Raki back from some exhausting training, and as Raki sleeps, Isley heads deeper into the woods to meet with a man that he identifies as Ligardes. After getting the report on Pieta, Isley orders Ligardes to take the 27 Awakened Beings and annihilate the town.
This episode is taking some liberties from the manga (Raki, Isley and Priscilla are camping outside, Flora didn’t fight Clare), but it’s keeping the basic story intact (Ligardes is still sent to annihilate Pieta). As for why they’re doing this, I suspect that they might be setting up for a different ending than the still ongoing manga has; one that perhaps has Raki being reunited with Clare and maybe a battle with Isley and Priscilla. It all depends on if Raki ever actually makes it to Pieta and how the fight with Ligardes and all the Awakened Beings goes. That doesn’t quite explain why they didn’t have Flora fight Clare and why Jean was in that scene too, unless they intend to keep those three alive. In any case, it looks like the Claymores are outnumbered in the upcoming battle against Ligardes and company, and I’m more curious than ever about what direction this story will go now.