Technically, the title for Chapter 75 is “Hearing only the Blizzard,” but as I typed it, I noticed the pseudo-pun.
The boys continue to enjoy their
romantic working vacation and discuss the whereabouts of Sword-Boob lady (Shura Kirigakure). The old woman that totally ships the brothers, the innkeeper, confirms that Shura had been there. In fact, Shura told the innkeeper not to worry when she was headed off into the storm, she wasn’t there to sight-see, but to go ‘home.’
This prompts Yuki to do a little research into Shura’s past (the exorcists have their own wiki, ‘natch.) We learn that Shura was taken into the order after the “Baba Yaga” incident, which, as you can see above, Rin knew about, but Yuki didn’t.
There are a couple of ways you could read this (and the later, similar moments where Rin knows stuff about Shura that Yuki didn’t). Maybe we’re supposed to feel like it’s a shame that Yuki is so anal that he doesn’t even know the people he’s supposedly closest, too, but I automatically assumed the difference is about personality type. Like Rin, I’m an extrovert, so this is often my role in life, too. “Oh, you didn’t know so-and-so was Buddhist?” or “Wow, yeah, am I the only one that knew he had a boyfriend in Canada?”
Because extroverts do this. We talk to people, get them to tell us stuff, because we’re generally interested and will actually ASK whereas other people might be curious, but they wouldn’t dare.
I like, though, that Yuki keeps being surprised (and impressed?) by the things Rin already knows:
At any rate, the important bit is that we find out that she’d been held captive and rescued by Father Fujimoto and brought into the Order.
We also find out from the Snake God that the promise Shura is supposed to keep is to honor their blood contract and have a child, a baby. Presumably with this guy:
But Shura refuses and, in fact, won’t even fight him when he threatens her with his “fang.” Then again, it seems he’s a little soft for her because not only does he not go after her with full force, but, after she collapses from blood loss, leaves her close to the shrine so that our boys will find her. In fact, he (or one of his minions) stays to make sure she’s found and rescued. (So, for a pushy “blood promised” snake-betrothed, he’s not so terrible….)
When Shura wakes up she’s irritated that Mephisto got everyone involved in her personal business. When they ask her what’s going on, she explains she’s going to die soon.
… the end.
As usual, I found this chapter really satisfying. Obviously, I’m enchanted by even the minute interactions between the two brothers and I’m finding this subplot fascinating. I’d wonder what Baba Yaga has to do with a snake prince, but I’m assuming it a snow/blizzard connection (though my folklore of Russia isn’t super-strong, so Baba Yaga may have a snake connection I don’t know).
Honestly, it’s not unreasonable for Baba Yaga to have jumped/wandered the tiny distance between the Kamchatka Peninsula and Japan either, which I rather enjoy the idea of the Russian gods/imps/etc. making mischief among their neighbors in Japan.
Ao no Exorcist makes me happy, too, because even in the middle of this super-serious rescue, we get this tiny moment of silliness:
Wherein, I’m sure the little innkeeper is thinking, “Oh my, now the two gay boys are bringing in a woman! Maybe they’re bi! And poly!” Or, she turned right around and called the police, because honestly they’re bringing in an unconscious, bloody woman while shouting “NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG,” just about as suspiciously as possible.
I love this manga.
That is all.