Kendrick is dead. He has been one of my faves from the start.
"Donovan is mine. No matter what you do to the others and no matter what you do to me, Donovan will not fall to you. The boy, his powers, his demon and his grimoire are ..." -Kendrick *Squee* KendrickxDonovon Shonen Ai!
1st thought: "WTF?" 2nd: "...I never checked the site on Wednesday, did I?" 3rd: "When did he even show up?"
So I go back over the last couple of chapters and, yep, I don't remember reading the session where Kendrick came in. That's right, I happened to miss (and forget that I missed) two non-consecutive updates that go next to each other in the same plot thread!
And then, gaps filled, I actually read tonight's entry. DAMN!!!
I was going to give this entire thread a Spoiler tag, but since there were so many twists in the last couple chapters, I'll keep it in case others are in a situation like Yami's.
Anyhoo... now that the twin OMFG chapters are winding down (seriously, it's almost over, things will start to calm down now), time to address some specifics:
First off, Matt and I have been working on this story for a long time, and had a bare-bones plot outline since 2004. As little as we had back then, and as much as we've tinkered with it, we have always looked at these two chapters with a certain hushed anxiety. Plotwise, these were the most intense events of the series. Although there will certainly be more drama and discomfort, this is easily as dark as MST will get. We are almost exactly halfway done. In anime terms, think of this as that point in a 26 episode series around episode 12 or 13 where all hell breaks loose... the first time.
The two featured battles were Molly v. Claude and Kathryn v. Kamila. Molly's fight was meant to be more cerebral and Kathryn's was an intense, nasty catfight. Based on how it ended, and Kathryn's story for the rest of the series, it had to get that hardcore, even though I was also a little humbled after writing that scene.
All I can say about Kendrick is that although it seems to be ignored in the subsequent chapters (as you can imagine, the characters will be a little busy tending to other things), his death kicks off much of the events in the second half of the story. It's one of those "trust me, we know what we're doing" things.
For Claude and Marie, there were several hints dropped throughout, especially for Claude (Marie's is mostly buying all those "going away" stories). Since demons can sniff out other demons, his response to encounters with Kendrick and the Zukoni are telling.
Now as for Marie... we'll get a little more in depth into her story and there is a lot more going on. She's got an interesting angle on this as she was pretty much sincere about everything she to said to Troy (as well as her reaction to Sho's enrollment and Kurt's death). It doesn't excuse her actions and her feeling of helplessness doesn't improve her situation, but her story is not finished yet.
A Pro Tip for readers as the volume goes on, keep tabs on what characters experienced and what they learn from others. Don't assume everybody gets together and divulges their full story to everybody else. Some of the omissions play a huge part in volume 6.
Are you sure Kendrick is dead? When I read that part about the wall swallowing him, I envisioned more of a spell of painful illusion, where it swallows him, but swallows him into it, in other words capture.