Hollows, you say?
Apparently, Luna was disguised as Asuna entirely to buy time – once she was discovered, there was no reason to keep pretenses, so she just told them everything. Mana, considerate as always:
“So you’re expendable, huh… well, it’s not exactly unheard of.”
“Fate-sama isn’t that kind of person! What can you possibly know about him, or his noble intentions -”
“Long story short, he’s having the whole Magic World disappear because it’s not worth the trouble, right? I don’t think of that as noble.”
“That’s wrong! This is the only way to save the souls of those who are weak, who were unblessed!”
“Hah… you make me sick. It’s because of the whitewashing done by your type that people suffer in the first place.”
“How can you say that?! What about the girls who starve to death while not knowing their own fathers, or the boys, given weapons and sent onto the battlefield, not knowing their own mothers; are you saying you would abandon them all?!”
Well, that discussion just took a nosedive…
The natural gigolo strikes again.
“Would you mind telling me the details later, Luna-san?”
“Y-Yes, I’d be glad to.”
Chisame: Glad to?
“A-Ah… later, is… when…?”
“When? Um, I’ll be back soon.”
“Y-Yes, I’ll be waiting…”
Setsuna went in the Diorama with Kaede to discuss the current situation (Whatever happened to ‘taking turns’? They just put their best fighters in a fishbowl.) and naturally, she’s pretty upset that the real Asuna was taken. Chisame and the rest decided that, aside from Asakura, they shouldn’t tell the rest of the group.
Anyway. Setsuna brought Eva’s scroll, which they hope will give some clue on how to solve Negi’s dilemma, the overwhelming urge to succumb to darkness and/or die.
Naked Eva. Rejoice. Salivate.
“I see… so, [Rakan]’s gone…”
“You don’t look too disturbed by this.”
“Hmph. I’ve seen enough of death.”
In the first place, Magia Erebea is my personal technique. I hadn’t predicted that a lowly human would use it.
Even for someone unaligned with the darkness such as yourself, if you continue to use it, you will likely be overwhelmed by the dark and the demonic.
But… heh, I hadn’t thought that you would be this compatible with it.
If you ever lose control again… most likely, both your spirit and body will be completely under the control of the demon, and you will become an inhuman monster. You won’t be able to return to normal again.
…Just like me.
Of course, if you can’t endure the process, then you might just die. But to put it another way, you are being reborn as a higher lifeform, a different creature… it’s not bad.
Rather, if you have truly decided to succeed your father’s noble work, would that form not be more favourable?
Well, as soon as you do become that, you will become the same as a wild beast… an easy target. The disadvantages are more numerous. It would be best if you treat it now.
Of course, Magia Erebea being what it is, this is a first for Eva herself, so she can’t guarantee that the ‘treatment’ will work, or if it won’t just outright kill him. Also, for whatever reason, this will be the last time the Eva in the scroll can be summoned – basically, ‘her’ last lesson to him.
Eva forcibly brings out Negi’s ‘dark’ side:
“In the end, the power of darkness is simply the negative side of yourself that you can never be rid of. The boy’s problem is that the other side has found a source of power, a foundation to form an ego.
It is not enough to accept it. Somehow, it must be tamed.
The way is not known to me. No one can save you!
You have to find the way yourself! It is all up to you whether you will control, or be controlled, by this power!”
Setsuna and Kaede are here to ‘help’ by restraining demon!Negi (while he’s having a phantasmagoria battle with ‘himself’, presumably) but Eva warns them to “brace themselves” because “that thing is much worse than all those mid-boss demons from before”.
She’s damn right, too.
Yuuna & co. enter the resort, so they’ll probably have some part to play in Negi’s recovery later.
Negi’s really starting to show how much he’s outpaced the rest of Ala Alba, overwhelming both Setsuna and Kaede with Mega Dunamene and coming close to finishing them off with a point-blank Titanoktonon.
Then Eva friggin’ blocks it with Ensis Exsequens with no apparent effort.
How much more broken can you possibly make her, Akamatsu?
“To one who seeks the light, it is meaningless if it is not grasped with one’s own hands. Isn’t that right, boy?”
Looks like the next few chapters are all set up here: Nodoka goes to talk to Yue, and of course, it seems we are on the verge of an epic, epic rematch between Eva and Negi.
I’m kind of hoping Eva goes black herself, really.
(And for something entirely different: how many Jungian concepts have Akamatsu managed to fit into this manga at this point?)