Next up is the Common Route for Code:Realize ~Sousei no Himegimi~! This spans for 8 chapters so get ready for a long read. This follows from the Prologue. I’ll add the content for the individual choices as I go along the routes. (Fully updated on: 10th August 2015)
Chapter 1: London Steam
When Cardia first woke up, she only knew that she had a father and that she had to wait for him. That was all. She didn’t even know who she was. But she didn’t feel the least upset. Her father had left behind a letter for her, and on it all sorts of promises were written. Telling her not to leave the mansion, to wait for him as he’ll definitely return, to not break any of the promises. If she does, only misfortune awaits her for she is a monster. But she did, and in the end people chased her away as a monster, and she hurt those who had accepted and loved her. And so ever since then, she’s stayed in her room to wait for her father.
Noticing her blank expression, Lupin draws close to her and jokes if she’s shocked to see a guy as good-looking as himself. When she questions his intentions, he answers that he merely wants to get to know her better since they’ll be sticking around for a long time. But first, they need to fill their stomachs (with Impey’s food). He learns that the food melts almost instantly in her mouth, but she can at least tell that it’s delicious. While she’s surprised to see that he knows about her lethal poison, he replies that he’s done his research – by stealing top secret information from the British government. As she remarks that he’s really a thief, Lupin corrects her by saying that he’s a gentleman thief. When Cardia points out the paradox in his words, he replies that all charming men have contradictions. Not even he himself knows why he’s such a good man. Cardia only wonders just how much self-confidence he has.
Soon after, he gets to the point. Lupin explains that a genius scientist created a precious stone which is capable of continuously producing immense energy – otherwise known as horologium. For one reason or another, he embedded the stone in his daughter’s body – aka Cardia. He’s surprised to learn that Cardia has no recollection of her father, Isaac Beckford, especially when his name is known globally. She explains that while she has no memory prior 2 years ago when she woke up, she did study the books in her house to some extent. Wanting to know more about her father, Lupin explains that his contributions to science have earned him the name as the “modern Prometheus“. By allowing the usage of steam power, he paved the era of invention and military expansion for London. He became an advisor for British military technology, aiding in the development of several power weapons, as well as the building of London as a Steel City. But before the completion of London could be finished, he left his position to someone else and vanished one day. In any case, the British military came to recollect her for the horologium and it can’t be for any positive purpose. He believes that Isaac is behind it.
Cardia confirms that the stone is embedded in her chest, as she unbuttons her clothes to reveal the shining blue fragments. She often wondered if it’s the reason behind her poisonous touch. Lupin panics and quickly tells her to cover herself up for the sake of her modesty. She recalls having read that term in a book, and realises that this is an action she can’t do. When asked why he’s after the horologium, he says that she’s the key to finding out Isaac’s plan. He’s been chasing after her father and believes that the man is involved in a plan in the shadows. He doesn’t think that the plan is anything good and wants to put a stop to that. He’d thought that perhaps as his daughter, Cardia may know something. Though that isn’t the case, he still thinks that she’s the key to finding Isaac. When he asks for her cooperation, Cardia speaks her mind. She doesn’t care what happens to herself, but she doesn’t like the idea of breaking her promise to her father. When Lupin hears about the promise, he tells her to treasure herself. If she were to return to the mansion, the military will surely capture her this time. Moreover, if she wants to meet her father they can search for him together. There’s no better place to gather information than London. Plus there are many well-known doctors there, perhaps they can help do something about her poison.
He reminds her of his promise to make her wish come true, but in exchange she has to cooperate with him. Cardia takes his hand and with that, he brings her to reunite with Impey. At the same time, Lupin warns her to be careful as Impey will surely hit on her – in fact many men may do so when they arrive in London. In response, she merely nods despite the fact that it was his attempt at a joke. Just then, Impey arrives on an automobile which runs on steam engine. He introduces himself as an engineer and great inventor who aims to land on the moon one day. As he realises her beauty, he starts to flirt with her by calling her Venus de Milo right out of the painting
despite the fact that it’s a statue lol, and offering to do a love maintenance for her tonight. His words all fail on Cardia though, as she has no clue as to what he’s suggesting.
As they all ride on the automobile, Cardia notices that there’s no smoke spurting out unlike the steam locomotives she’s read about. Impey carefully explains that it’s thanks to the neo steam engine her father created. On their way to London, the duo also explain more about it to her. Despite being such a big city, it took just 5 years for the development of it as a fortress city to be complete. The queen wanted to hurry the developments in order to show off the military power to the rest of Europe. London is divided into two by a large wall. Outer London is made up of several areas, such as the middle street which is responsible for generating steam energy, the impoverished street, and the forest area where many rich people own villas. Central London is filled with government facilities and the houses of the rich and powerful. As for themselves, they’re currently staying in a certain noble’s home in the forest area.
Before entering London, Lupin goes to check out the situation at the borders as he fears that soldiers may still be searching for Cardia. Left alone with Impey, Cardia smoothly ignores his advances while asking more about Lupin, since she was saved by him. Impey explains that originally it was Tasogare, the secret British military agency formed by Isaac, which was meant to pursue her. And apparently Tasogare is planning a major act of terrorism, and the key of it is said to be her horologium. It’s all rumours but when Lupin heard of it, he decided to try and stop it. So he saved her in hopes of finding a lead to Isaac’s whereabouts. When Lupin returns, he apologises for involving her in his own plans. But Cardia herself wants to ask her father many questions – so their goal is common.
Lupin shows them a wanted poster for Victor Frankenstein, for the crime of killing 12 people in a factory explosion. Originally, he was court alchemist and a lead research officer. In order to capture him, they’re carrying out border inspections. Though it’s nothing to do with them, Cardia may still be a target. London is overflowing with people, so once they enter it should be difficult to capture them. Since their photo wasn’t taken and the royal bodyguards shouldn’t be present, they just need a disguise. Lest anything happens, they give Cardia a map showing the mansion. They also split up into two groups.
- Impey: Cardia is apprehensive of being paired up with Impey under the disguise of a married couple. Unfortunately, they mess up at the inspection area as Cardia doesn’t respond to Impey when he calls her by a fake name. As Lupin watches on with an appalled expression, Impey throws his self-made hypnotism device at the soldiers – but it doesn’t work for some reason. Driven into a corner, he carries Cardia and makes a run for it. They escape successfully, as Cardia notes that Impey ran especially fast – maybe even faster than his automobile. They find themselves in the impoverished area, which was originally a temporary resident area for the labourers who rebuilt London. Impey warns her not to come here alone as there are many bad people here. Cardia eyes him instead, as Lupin had warned her about Impey previously. As the two of them head towards the mansion, Cardia ends up getting lost in the sea of people.
- Lupin: Cardia can choose to pair up with Lupin in his route. He splendidly pulls off the role as a noble, acting high and mighty towards the guards. He even presents the (stolen) dagger bearing the family crest, and the men let him right through. Once inside, he brings her to Tower Bridge where he explains that the bridge splits in two for big ships to pass through. Though he’d like to show her more sights, they should hurry back to their mansion. He continues to explain London to her as they walk on, but she ends up getting separated.
Just then, a man calls out to her and offers to help her find her partner. But he leads the unsuspecting Cardia to a dark alley where other men are waiting – with plans to sell her off. Seeing her pretty features, they entertain other thoughts first, ignoring her warnings. As such, one of them ends up getting his hand burnt. The others draw their knives and close in on her, and an unfamiliar voice tells Cardia to cover her eyes and ears. She immediately does so and a flare explosion occurs. The impact is still too much for her though, and she’s caught by someone before she falls to the ground. She looks up to see a kind-looking, bespectacled man, who catches sight of her horologium. He advises her not to trust people so easily, especially in such a place. When he offers to escort her back, Cardia questions if he’s someone she can trust then. The man asks her to make an exception for him, and leads her back to the main street. As Cardia wonders where she’s seen his face before, the police come chasing after him – Victor Frankenstein aka Fran.
Though they aren’t after Cardia, Fran is aware that Tasogare are after her so he escapes with her. While he’s soon out of breath, he’s amazed that she isn’t and concludes that it must be due to the power of the stone. They lose sight of the police, and Fran stresses that he didn’t commit any crime. Though she may find it hard to believe, he was framed for it by the government. Before he can finish speaking, a weirdly-dressed man donning a bird-like mask appears before them. Fran quickly grabs Cardia and throws 2 test-tubes to cause an explosion. The attackers appears to be knocked out and they flee to the middle street. As he catches his breath, Cardia thanks him for saving her. When Fran asks why she isn’t running away from him, she says that it would be weird not to when he’s saved her twice. She ends up explaining about her situation as best as she can. In return, Fran offers his help to check her condition (as a doctor). Though he’s an alchemist, he also studied medicine and chemistry. Fran also explains that since he’s on the run, he hopes to stay at their place in return.
Whether or not Cardia ends up trusting him or is on her guard, they go together to the mansion to discuss with Lupin and Impey first. Thanks to the map, they make their way safely to the mansion. Upon entering, Lupin and Impey ambush Fran and start questioning him as they identify him as the wanted man (though Impey’s mind is in the gutter lol). Cardia ends up raising her voice at them to get their attention, and explains the situation. Basically in exchange for finding a way to remove her poison, he wants to hide out here. Fran also offers to help them in any other way he can. While the two of them are agreeable, they’d need to get the agreement of the mansion’s owner too. After dinner, Lupin leads Cardia to her room. He explains that the owner is a bit of an oddball. He doesn’t hire any servants and does all of the cleaning by himself, though Lupin does pitch in sometimes. His reason is that it’s his hobby. But since the mansion is so large, he can’t clean all of it all the time so the rooms they can use are limited. Other rooms are basically storage for his art collection.
Lupin shows Cardia to her room but then realises something and asks how does she sleep. Cardia explains that the bed at her home is the same as her clothes aka they’re resistant to her poison. This bed is not though, so she’ll try to sleep by her side as her hair isn’t poisonous. Still, it’ll be bad if the bed melts in case anything happens so Lupin decides to ask Fran about it tomorrow. It was originally his room, and so is the trunk Cardia spots. Seeing her take a liking to her, Lupin gives it to her. Just then, a dog with an artificial leg pops out and approaches her. While she’s worried about hurting it, Lupin says that it should be okay as long as she’s careful. Plus, it wasn’t taking a liking to anyone so he’s relieved. Apparently Impey found the dog injured, and saved it. He even gave him the artificial leg and took great care of it, but the dog just never reciprocated. Impey named the dog Sissy, despite the fact that it’s male.
Later that night, Cardia is unable to sleep and Sissy suddenly gets up and leaves the room. She follows it out and sees the shadow of a strange figure. It disappears though, and she continues searching for Sissy. As she passes a room, a voice calls out to her. The man recognises her as the new resident, and introduces himself as Saint-Germain, a Count in France. But right now he’s merely the eccentric owner of this mansion. As he welcomes her, Cardia questions if he’s French, and he replies that that’ll be the case for now. Despite his kind smile, she finds it cold at the same time and wonders if it’s due to the light casting on him. When she mentions about the strange shadow, Saint decides to check just in case. After he leaves, she retires to her room.
Chapter 2: The Strongest Stalker
The following day, she goes through different experiments with Fran such as touching different types of materials – including titanium, as recent invention. Her poison could even melt that. He concludes that the horologium is the source of the strong poison, and holds immense energy due to its pure crystalline nature. However, her clothes is the only resistant material so it must have some sort of substance applied to it. While her body emits poison, it must also create a resistance to it since her body isn’t affected by the poison. He guesses that the substance must have used that as a base. In any case, Lupin says that if Fran can figure it out they can prepare a new set of clothes for it. Her clothes at the moment is too noticeable and hard to move in. At the same time, Cardia requests for Fran to make a pillow cover as she was too nervous about melting the bed and couldn’t sleep well. In addition, Lupin asks for a new set of cutlery for her.
At the breakfast table, Fran asks for their plan in detail. As Cardia thinks through everyone’s goals, she wonders why Saint is helping out. Saint says that when he was starting to get bored with society, he met Lupin and Impey and decided that it would be interesting. He overheard their conversation of how to infiltrate the government at a hotel, and volunteered his help. When Cardia points out that they shouldn’t have openly discussed it at a hotel, Lupin answers that doing so makes people think that you’re just joking – except for Saint that is. As for Impey, something important to him was stolen so he chased the culprit all the way to London and mistook Lupin as the culprit. In the end, he decided to help Lupin while he’s still searching. Fran also explains that the government doesn’t want the knowledge he possesses to be leaked to other countries, so they’re after him. When Saint wonders why he’s on the run instead of enjoying the best research environment there is to be offered to him, Fran remains quiet.
In any case, their current goal is to find Isaac’s whereabouts, while escaping from Tasogare. For starters, Lupin suggests going to find a capable doctor for Cardia. Fran agrees, saying that his specialty is still alchemy and there is still something he finds unbelievable. While Saint expresses his worry that they’re being pursued, Fran says that the police have given up their chase on him. Plus the impoverished street is filled with illegal residents, so it would be a waste of their time here. Right now, their focus is on a thief who stole a noble’s treasure. That thief isn’t Lupin though, as the latter explains that recently many are imitating him.
They climb up flights of staircases to the top level of a building, where a doctor whom Lupin knows lives. The doctor reasons that she chooses her patients, and not everyone would want to climb up all the way here. After the doctor does her initial check-up, she quickly calls the rest back in the room and says that there’s nothing to know – it’s the first time she’s met a patient with no heartbeat. Fran adds that he noticed it too, but was hesitant on telling her and wanted someone else’s opinion. Since it’s come to this, he says that she should be dead without a heart – yet she’s alive. So the horologium must be the replacement for it. So she must not hurt it, nor hand it over to anyone. After they leave, Cardia can only think of how she must be a monster. They attempt to cheer her up, and Lupin brings the party to a casino where he uses a fake name to get them in. In the near future, a large-scale auction and an annual airship race will also be held here. In order to collect even more money, they opened a casino too. It’s an open secret that the organisers are actually the mafia, but the government turns a blind eye due to the money flowing in. Here, Cardia can choose whom she wants to accompany.
- Fran: The two of them decide to look at the food stalls instead, and they come across a stall selling fairy floss. Fran buys one for each of them, but seeing Cardia take a liking to it so much, he offers his to her too.
- Impey: While he’s delighted to receive her love, Cardia bluntly states that Lupin looks like he wants to freely play while Fran is tired from the long walk – so Impey was left. After she clears that up, he brings her to the slot machines. He boosts about his capabilities, as he manages to score a win. When she easily wins on her first time, he’s shocked and heads to a more difficult one. As expected, it’s not easy to get a win but he’s fired up at the thought of impressing Cardia. He takes out a specially-made device as he plans to cheat, but a guard spots him and drags him away.
- Lupin: They head towards a table playing Blackjack, and Lupin is on a losing streak at first. But he keeps playing, betting all of his remaining chips in the last round. He ends up winning big, much to the horror of the dealer. Later, he explains to Cardia that he remembered all of the cards that appeared. And so he could better read what the remaining cards would be. As she expresses her admiration, he remarks that he always gets what he wants – his chances of failure is 0% after all.
After they’re finished, they gather at the entrance. Lupin ended up winning big, and the organiser told him not to come anymore. Fran toured the place in peace, while Impey barely managed to escape from being drowned in River Thames. Lupin then reveals his other intention for coming here. This place is pretty much like a black market, so perhaps they can gain information about Isaac here. Just then, they hear the guards chasing after an intruder. The next thing Cardia knows, Lupin protects her from an explosion. As they are about to make a run for it, a man points his gun at Lupin’s head and asks for him to hand over the monster. Lupin yells at Cardia to escape, while his stick emits smoke. He’s unable to handle the attacker though, and not even Fran’s handy explosions can stop him for he shoots them down. They have no choice but to flee through the forest. Lupin thinks that the man must have been expected them to appear there, and waited in ambush. In other words, he may have also predicted that they would escape here. Fran agrees, as he finds the attacker extremely familiar.
They are interrupted by a gunshot, though Lupin alerts them in time. Fran recognises the attacker as Abraham Van Helsing, the hero of the vampire war 2 years ago. As a result, he earned the highest honour as a knight, and is Tasogare’s greatest force. Van says that he’s already retired from Tasogare and assures them that he won’t harm them once he’s achieved his goal. Impey volunteers to hold Van off. While Cardia is uneasy about this, Lupin tells her and Fran to run. He reasons that Van can’t kill people, highlighting that none of the guards were killed at the casino. So his gun is probably loaded with rock salt shells, and trusts that the extremely sturdy Impey can handle it. He then tells Cardia to hide in the bushes, while he and Fran distract Van. Soon enough, Van catches up to them, and so does Impey. The former dispels Lupin’s previous theory, as he shoots a tree down.
- (Attack: On Lupin’s route, Cardia observes that he’s in danger and attempts to attack Van. Though this exasperates Lupin, he also feels bad at forcing her to do this and thanks her for her courage. He dodges with Cardia as Van aims at her.)
Observing the tense and disadvantageous situation, Cardia reveals herself as the monster to Van. As he expresses his surprise, Van demands for the horologium. She refuses, explaining that she’d die. When he learns that she’s Isaac’s daughter, Van wonders if she’s connected to that person. He changes his mind and asks her to spill everything she knows about Isaac, as he wants to confirm if that person is really immortal or not. Unfortunately, Cardia can’t remember anything. So he decides to use her to lure Tasogare out, as well as that person. Of course, the others won’t let him have his way. Fran persuades Van to cooperate with them instead, as he explains that they’re trying to find Isaac too. Surely their talents will be of use, moreover he’s somewhat aware of Isaac’s research. When Van threatens to leave with Cardia if he deems them as useless, the rest reply that they’ll just stop him.
At that moment, both of Van’s shotguns explode. Apparently, Fran’s long talk was just to distract him. Lupin had taken the chance to slip in a roulette ball, and the other one when he was getting beaten up by Van. In the end, Van agrees to cooperate much to everyone’s relief. Despite being a monster, Cardia is touched at everyone’s concern for her. They must truly see her as one of them.
Chapter 3: Educational Days
Back at the mansion, Van goes through his situation again. His aim is to expose that person’s secret, and that person is deeply connected to Tasogare. Upon hearing that they’re after the horologium, he decided to obtain it earlier so that he can use it to approach that person. But since it turns out that Cardia is Isaac’s daughter, remaining with them would mean that Tasogare should appear before them sooner or later. In the meantime, he’ll gather more information with them. The rest recall yesterday’s incident, and conclude that the person’s secret must be his immortality. Van confirms that the person was indeed assassinated back then. Either way, they have to find leads on Isaac’s whereabouts first. When Cardia expresses her wishes to join them, Impey and Van reply that it’s much safer for her to remain here. Lupin supports her though, as does Fran.
Fran brings up a concern he discovered after researching on her blood sample. Due to the nature of her poison, very fine particles of it is constantly being dispersed into the air. It’s only a little so it won’t harm others. The problem is, it remains in the air and is easily identifiable. So if it collects in the air, one can easily detect her presence from a long distance with the right detector. Cardia recalls the strange sound she heard when the royal guards invaded her home. Fran concludes that she needs to leave the mansion daily for a few hours, so that the poison doesn’t accumulate in the air and their location is revealed. It’s decided that someone will accompany Cardia when she leaves the mansion, and at the same time Lupin suggests that she learns the minimal knowledge to protect herself. Van offers to teach her self-defense skills, while Fran volunteers to teach her emergency aid. Saint decides to teach her about the geography of London, so that she can escape in case anything happens. Impey says that he’ll teach her how to handle his anti-crime devices, though the rest suspect him of other intentions.
They’ll each take turns to teach her outdoors everyday, and the rest would gather information. They’ll continue doing so till it’s time for all of them to act. Since it’s the first day, Cardia can choose who she wants first.
- Lupin: She chooses Lupin and this golden conversation happens.
Van: Hmm……it’s not a bad choice. It’s always best to escape in any situation.
Fran: Yup, we can entrust Cardia to Lupin without any worries.
Saint: Oh my……I’d wanted to tour London with you, but it can’t be helped. I’ll leave it for another time.
Impey: Fu……you were too shy to choose me right. It can’t be helped dear kitty……
Cardia: I’m in your care, Lupin.
Fran: How do I put this— is it alright to treat Impey like this? It’s as though it’s gradually becoming a form of art……
Saint: Is that so? I think that now this is Impey Barbicane.
Van: I’ve only just been acquainted but even I know. This is the role he plays.
Lupin leads Cardia to a nearby forest where he first teaches her how to escape. The most important thing is to know when to escape. In order to get the timing right, she has to be cowardly, or rather be sensitive to danger. She escapes no matter what – when Tasogare appears, when a thug appears, when your comrade appears to save you from the thug. She should first safeguard herself, before seeking a choice to counterattack. In any situation, she has to think what can I do. They end up training for the rest of the day, and he commends on her quick learning. At this rate, she’ll become a wonderful thief (not that she wants to). Lupin also tells her to stop calling him “teacher” as it’s getting embarrassing.
- Van: Everyone else is worried that Van would not take things easy on Cardia and end up hurting her. He insists that it’s alright and brings her to a street near River Thames. For starters, he advises her not to fight but to escape if given a choice. It’s the best way to protect yourself. He also tells her to use her poison as a surprise attack (kishuu). The term sounds similar to quiche and Van corrects her by going on to ramble about it. As Cardia notes on how much he loves cooking, Van starts to teach her how to attack. Rather than punching or kicking first, he suggests for her to throw her whole body weight. He asks her to try it out on him, but dodges at the last minute as he’s surprised at how much power she displayed. He then teaches her to always observe the moment when the opponent loses his/her guard. The lesson continues till the late afternoon, and Van observes that she has talent.
Cardia: I……feel as though I’ve grown stronger.
Van: Don’t be stupid. It’s merely your misapprehension.
Cardia: At this rate, I may grow stronger than Van.
Van: Now it’s past a misapprehension to an illusion.
Cardia: I feel that it’s not a bad idea to aim to be a fighter.
Van: Rather than an illusion, you’re now lost in life. What happened to finding your father……
- Fran: He leads her to the forest, as he opens up a trunk full of chemicals. He introduces her to the different concoctions he made, but realises that he forgot to bring along a few. Fran quickly creates it on-the-spot, and Cardia spots a test-tube with a “don’t open” note. While she’s extremely curious, she holds back the urge. Fran affirms that it’s extremely dangerous, and gives her what he just made instead. He spends the rest of the day teaching her, all of which Cardia finds not just useful, but fascinating too.
- Impey: Immediately, the rest object and asks if she’s serious. Van adds that she might as well use the anti-crime devices on Impey. In any case, the two of them head down to his personal workshop which he had converted from the garden shed. While Impey is determined to shrink the distance between them, Cardia is convinced that it’ll remain the same. He then passes a device to her, explaining that it’ll alert her of any dangerous people nearby by analysing their eye movement, perspiration etc. He’s convinced that the alarm will sound if she’s near Lupin or Van. Unfortunately for Impey, the alarm sounds when Cardia point it at him. He quickly disposes of it, claiming that it must be faulty. After going through several more other devices, Impey gives up on them and decides to teach her how to handle different machinery since London is full of them. For starters, he teachers her how to drive the automobile. It would be helpful if they have to escape by it.
- Saint: He brings her out to the middle street, and reassures her that Tasogare would have a hard time finding them in this sea of people. Even if they are attacked, it should be easy for them to escape. Saint then leads her to central London, and she notices that there are less pedestrians. He explains that the upper class mainly use automobiles and horse carriages to travel, or ask their servants to run their errands. When questioned why he himself doesn’t do so, he remarks that he’s an oddball who likes to do things by himself. Towards the end of the day, he brings Cardia to Tower Bridge. Apparently when Isaac was in-charge the London’s redevelopment, he initiated its development to improve commerce. He adds that the bridge is able to open up to allow the crossing of big ships, and they witness it at that moment. On their way back, Saint listens to Cardia with a kindly expression. When she wonders why he shows a lonely face sometimes, he denies this and thanks her for her consideration.
Several weeks later, Cardia’s gained much from the various lessons. On one morning, Fran has prepared a new set of clothes for her to change into. Besides that, he’s also prepared the cutlery and pillow for her. After some more time passes, Lupin announces to the rest that it’s soon time to act. But till the right time comes, Cardia’s lessons will be held one last time. Once more, she can choose whose lesson she wants.
- Lupin: Lupin has them play a game of tag, to see the fruits of his lessons. If she can avoid getting caught by him till noon, it’s her win. Lupin ends up almost catching her, but she uses a bomb from Fran. However, he’s quick enough to cover his eyes with some shades and closes in on her again. Cardia recalls Van’s lessons, and ends up throwing him over her shoulder. But she soon realises that Lupin had been driving her into a corner, where she trips over some string. Though he caught her, he commends on her performance. They end up training again after lunch, till the sun sets.
- Van: While the rest warn Cardia not to get hurt, she replies that it’s only to be expected in training. Van adds that it’s training her to at least be able to take on one Tasogare member, and she’s never suffered a serious injury. In any case, he’s already taught her all that needs to be taught. So later, he tells her to put her knowledge and skills to practice by taking him one-on-one. Cardia does her best, using what Lupin taught her too. However, Van proves to be too strong as he has her at gunpoint. She surrenders, and he praises her for doing so at the right timing. For it’s important to judge when to do so, rather than putting up a useless struggle. As he hardly praises her, she feels happy even though she lost. Cardia then tells him to continue, as she won’t rest till he admits defeat.
- Fran: He actually already taught her everything there is, and suggests explaining about the history of alchemy in England. Her father contributed a lot in that area, so it won’t be bad to know. As Fran explains, he touches on how the British rulers were interested in it due to the philosopher’s stone. And it was thanks to Isaac’s influence that interest in it was picked up again. Though he disappeared midway, because of his contribution alchemy became the country’s main research area under Queen Victoria’s rule. Fran believes that Isaac probably used alchemy to create Cardia’s horologium. At the end of the day, he tells her to keep it a secret from the rest that they didn’t have training today.
- Impey: Impey decides to let Cardia try out his self-made ornithopter. The rest recall having seen it explode or fall to the ground, fuelling Cardia’s uneasiness. Impey tries to dispel her fears, and the two end up riding it. After a while, he hands the gears to her and she manages to ride it smoothly. While Cardia’s impressed by the power of science, she’s also impressed by him too. He proudly declares that he is the man who will end up going to the moon after all.
- Saint: He brings her to Tower Bridge once more, as he explains that they are able to cross the walkway above ground. They climb the stairs and gaze at London’s landscape. Saint remarks how London is filled with people, dreams, desires, steam, machines. Its history is very much like ancient Babylon. He describes how London first started out, but 13 years ago Isaac changed the history of London after being discovered by the queen. Her father had brought about the displeasure of other European countries due to London’s rapid expansion. It was so tense that a war could break out any time. But with Isaac’s suggestion, they developed London into a fortress and the queen boosted of their military strength at a world expo. Isaaca has left many of his footprints behind in London, one can only wonder why he disappeared midway. After they converse some more, Cardia remarks that he’s a strange person. She doesn’t know what he’s thinking at all, but she feels reassured when with him. After all, he let her stay at his place despite not knowing her well. He replies that he could easily tell that she’s a kind person worth saving.
Once more at the breakfast table, Van and Impey are having their usual argument as the former can’t comprehend how the latter is the one behind the delicious meals. Cardia laughs at this, which surprises the rest of them as it’s the first time they’ve seen her smile. Later, everyone expresses how much Cardia has grown, and so Lupin thinks that it’s time to proceed with the plan as he’s caught hold of useful information.
Chapter 4: Train Snatch
When Lupin annouces that they’re going to kidnap Tasogare’s leader, the others are in shock. He reasons that it’s best to ask the key person if they want any answers. As for how he got the lead, Lupin describes how he was being followed and decided to turn the tables instead. He then disguised as one of them and finally learnt that the leader will be travelling by train from Waterloo to a war plant in the north. He also learnt the details of the guards travelling with him, and will share it with them later. The key point is that they’ll sneak on-board and kidnap the leader. Van accurately predicts that they’d be splitting into two groups – one will distract the enemy forces in the train while the other aims for the leader. And they can kidnap just the leader alone by snatching the whole train itself by switching to the train’s branch line. After that, they’d just hop onto the automobile waiting ahead for them. Whether or not Cardia agrees, Lupin and Van will still go ahead with the plan so everyone joins in eventually. But no matter what, Lupin tells Cardia to always prioritise her own life.
The following days are busy ones are they each prepare for the day itself. Especially Impey and Fran as the former has to create a device which can control the branching of railway lines from afar, while the latter is creating chemicals to use for attacking. Lupin told Cardia that they’d decide her role on the day itself, but she’s unable to sit still and not help out. Here, she can choose who she wants to assist in the preparations.
- Lupin: She finds Lupin doing the final checks on the plan. He’s about done though, so he invites Cardia to have some tea. He can see that she’s nervous, as he recalls how anxious he was on his first assignment to steal too. She can’t imagine it though, and asks if he had a teacher too. He confirms this, but his expression looks a bit lonesome. After that, he goes through the techniques he taught her to calm her down. He adds that mistakes do occur, but he always plans ahead so there’s no need to worry.
- Van: Cardia finds Van preparing his weapons, but she can’t help him out with that. Noting her nervousness, he remarks that he’s strong and will see through the plan no matter what. Even if she makes a mistake, the plan won’t fail either. Moreover, she’s equipped with the basic defence skills and tells her not to worry. Cardia is thankful for his kind words, but he states that he’s only telling the truth.
- Fran: She finds Fran in the middle of preparing a numbing medicine. Cardia’s amazed by the different things he creates, but he states that all of these harm people. Alchemy is meant for something more useful, such as healing illnesses – not for weapons. When she tries to comfort him, Fran replies that he isn’t that worthy of a person. He refuses to answer why, and directs her attention to another medicine he made.
- Impey: She finds Impey at his workshop, improving the ornithopter’s steam engine. Cardia recalls the time when she rode on it, and he is more than glad to let her ride it again. When asked about who led him onto this path, Impey recalls about an old man who lived nearby. As he continues talking excitedly about the different machines, Cardia’s nerves start to relax too.
- Saint: Cardia wonders what his role is, and finds him drinking tea. Saint invites her to have some tea too to calm her nerves. He adds that even if they fail, things won’t be that bad. Considering the talents of their members it hard to believe that they’ll fail. Even if she can’t believe in herself, at least she can believe in them. Thankful for his words, Cardia wonders why he’s always so calm. In return, he replies that it must be from experience. The older one gets, you start to be less surprised by things. But to Cardia, he doesn’t look that old.
On the day itself, Cardia waits at the train station with Lupin, Impey and Fran. So as not to attract too much attention despite the massive crowd, Van is elsewhere in the station while Saint is already waiting at the gathering point with the automobile. The plan is for Van and Fran to board the train, and when the train passes by a certain point they’ll start to draw out the guards towards the rear end. Upon doing so, they’ll cut the rear cabin off and do away with most of the leader’s guards. Meanwhile, Lupin and Impey would wait with Saint, and approach the cabin where the leader is with the ornithopter. With the device Impey made, Lupin will isolate that cabin by switching to the branch line and disconnecting it from the front cabins. After that, he’d release fireworks as a signal and Impey will gather everyone back and they’ll join Saint. If any problem occurs, Impey will be outside riding on the ornithopter to carry them out.
While they’re waiting, a passer-by bumps into Lupin. The thief finds it out that he didn’t sense his presence, while the rest say that he must be tired. They return to the topic of Cardia’s role, which is to destroy the railway coupling. Lupin hands her a small device to destroy it, though if it still doesn’t work she could use her poison too. She can decide whether to board the train with Van and Fran, or wait with the rest first.
- Board the train: They board the last carriage and remain seated till the designated station. The passengers alight one by one, and they hide while the staff checks the train. They come out when the train’s about to set off again. Cardia remains in hiding, while the other two deal with Tasogare’s men. Unexpectedly, more enemies come bursting through the windows and they are surrounded. Cardia notices that Fran has a lack of chemicals at hand, and at the same time an enemy is aiming for him.
- >> Come out: Cardia knocks the enemy down, but at the same time another aims his sword at her. Thankfully, Van saves her in time. Though he did warn her not to drag them down, he praises her for taking the chance too.
- >> Hide: Cardia chooses to believe in Fran, who quickly throws out the numbing medicine at the enemies. He tells her not to worry, and to continue hiding.
- They soon manage to cut off the carriage as according to the plan. However, more men attack them to their surprise. They also wonder why there’s been no signal from Lupin’s side, and guess that things aren’t going so well. Van tells Cardia to climb onto the roof of two carriages away where Impey can take her to a safe place, while they do what they can here. She does as told, but her path is soon blocked by a Tasogare member. Thankfully, Lupin comes to her aid and he explains the bad wind conditions outside. So it’s impossible for Impey to take her away first. He tells her to head to the carriage where Tasogare’s leader is to destroy the railway coupling.
- Leave the train station: They join Saint, and wait for the train to come into sight. Lupin tells Cardia to trust Van and Fran, who will surely be proceeding with the plan accordingly. He tells her to spend her time freely till then, and Cardia can choose to talk to either Impey or Saint.
- >> Lupin: Lupin changes into his gentleman thief outfit, and starts to study the maps. Cardia wonders if he appeared like this before kidnapping her too, and unconsciously she whispers “thank you”. After he’s done, he says that it would be good if they found a clue on her father.
- >> Impey: Cardia finds Impey still fiddling with the ornithopter, and he reassures her that it’ll work out just fine. Seeing her tense expression, he encourages her to smile as he finds her smile most suitable for her.
- >> Saint: Cardia notes Saint’s sad expression, and he replies that he was praying. To pray to god, signifies your love and respect for god, as well as the fact that you can’t do it on your own. So he finds praying both a beautiful and sad act. When she asks what he was praying for, Saint answers that it’s always the same thing – for the world to be a little kinder to those living, to save those in sadness. Cardia can’t imagine saving the world as it’s too big a scale for her. Saint agrees with a sad expression, and she feels as though she’s seen a hidden part of him.
- As they prepare to act, the winds start picking up. Impey is worried that this will affect the ornithopter’s performance, but Lupin replies that they will just have to settle everything before the wind gets too strong. They can’t possibly leave Van and Fran alone. Lupin, Impey and Cardia barely board the ornithopter due to lack of space, and approach the train. Due to the wind, they’re unable to reach the target cabin so Lupin and Cardia drop off as close as they can. Impey promises to return when the wind is weaker, and the other two infiltrate the cabin. They successfully take down the guards inside
(Back to common route) But then Lupin senses someone hiding at the back. The man reveals himself, and Cardia recognises him as the one who bumped into Lupin at the station. He acknowledges this and introduces himself as Hèrlock Sholmes, a mere detective. He immediately recognises Lupin, and is determined to stop his crime. Lupin makes use of Fran’s numbing medicine which is released from his stick, though Sholmes predicted his move ahead of time. At the station he had heard the tapping sound it made and deciphered that it must be hollow and probably filled with gas. Since he’s known as a gentleman thief, he wouldn’t hurt people so it’s probably just to numb the senses. Due to this knowledge, he had already prepared a handkerchief soaked with a neutralising agent to cover his face. Lupin thanks him for the long explanation, as he and Cardia are already dashing towards the door. However, Lupin finds himself dragged to the ground as Sholmes had tied strings to his feet when he was fighting the guards. Cardia quickly melts the strings with her poison.
While Lupin tells Cardia to escape with Impey’s help, she refuses and promises to destroy the railway coupling. If she does so, the speed of the train would drop and Impey will be able to save everyone. He gives in and as he attacks Sholmes, Cardia makes a run for it. She climbs to the roof of the train, and travels against the wind towards her target. But strangely, there’s no one inside the cabin they’re supposed to cut off. Just then, an elderly man points a gun at her head and tells her not to resist. She’s led into another cabin, where numerous other masked guards are. Seeing the difference in number, Cardia reminds herself to remain calm and to wait for the right opportunity. Noting her calm composure, the elderly man applauds her as a special existence – to them, to him, and to the world. Before she can ask what he meant, a young boy calls for him, Arester, to not say anything unnecessary.
The young boy introduces himself as Cardia’s younger brother, Finis. They both have the same father, and currently he’s the person they’re looking for – Tasogare’s leader. He notes that she must have a lot of questions for him, and also reveals that he had fed them information about his whereabouts here. Except that he inserted false information about the guards. He had been wanting to see her all this time, and decided to lure them here. As he orders Arester to prepare to leave, Van comes charging in and knocks down the guards. While Finis blames Arester for not being thorough enough, the latter replies that the opponent is the “human machine” after all. As Van threatens to shoot Finis, the other guards stop retaliating. Cardia recalls that Van used to be part of Tasogare, as she observes that he and Arester recognise each other.
Cardia tries to stop Van from shooting Finis, as their goal is to kidnap him. While Van insists that his one and only goal is to kill Finis, the boy provokes him by questioning if he’s afraid to confirm if he’s immortal. Just then, a black bomb is tossed in from a window and Cardia immediately tells Van to duck. It’s an escape tool Lupin created to scare the enemy, for all it does is emit black smoke. Outside, Lupin hangs from a ladder and shouts for Cardia to jump towards him. Van swears to get Finis next time, and jumps out of the window. Before doing so, he shoots at them and this helps Cardia to take the chance to escape. As Impey drives the ornithopter away, Finis merely smiles at her as he knows that they’ll meet again. Even though Cardia finds it hard to believe that he’s her brother, for some reason she feels as though she’s seen his cold gaze since a long time ago. Impey had already helped Fran escape, so he leads Lupin and Cardia towards the gathering point. Strangely, her chest aka the horologium feels hot but it’s just for that moment.
Chapter 5: Vampire Requiem
Several days since the incident, oddly nothing out of the ordinary has happened to them. Their location hasn’t been revealed, and Tasogare hasn’t pursued them since. It’s clear that the target Van was after is Finis, but no one knows the reason why. Since she didn’t get any answers from Finis, the mysteries surrounding herself still remain. What’s done is done so they should start thinking about how to act from here on. But then Fran drops another big problem before them – they have no money. Lupin handed all the money to Fran a while before, so that he could handle the finances. Unfortunately on the day it was handed to him, Fran realised that there was no money at all! Moreover pretty much everyone’s to blame for the situation. Impey spent a considerable amount on his ornithopter, Lupin spent 3 times the amount on his escape goods, Van spent even more on his bullets. But the one who spent the most was Fran, as he weakly admits this, for Impey and Van begged/threatened him to help them out. Moreover, Lupin also used money to buy information.
They all agree to cut down on their spending. When Impey asks Saint to sell his art collection for them, the noble tells him to be prepared for punishment then. He adds that “if man will not work, he shall not eat” and tells everyone to earn money with their talents. Lupin insists that he won’t steal for his own benefit, not even actively seeking out corrupt people to steal from as it’s against his gentlemanly ways. He can’t head to the casino either, as the owner has blacklisted him since the last round. At that moment, Van spots a notice in the newspapers and reads it out to them. Adele & Brutus Firm aka the disguise name of the London Mafia Union is holding an auction and attached a notice for a crime prevention. The thief’s target is a pendant called Nosferatu‘s Sabre. The thief has stolen several other items before, but no one knows his features as he always knocks everyone out in one go. The Firm is calling for bounty hunters to prevent him this time, and the reward is 10,000,000.
Again, whether or not Cardia supports this, they all agree to check the situation at the auction place first before deciding whether or not to participate. The auction is at the same place where the casino is. The organiser openly welcomes Van, having heard of his past glory. They enter the tent where other bounty hunters are, and notice that Leonhard is present too. Fortunately for them, the other bounty hunters are harassing him so he hardly notices them. On the flipside, none of them dare to go near them due to Van’s presence. Soon after, one of the staff announces that the thief will appear at 10pm. They wish to capture the thief alive if possible, but it can’t be helped if otherwise. Saint realises than Leonhard is here to prevent the other outcome from occurring by having the police arrest the thief first. Apparently the reward for capturing the thief alive is double. Van explains that the mafia will probably torture and kill him, to show the rest what will happen if people oppose them.
Saint expresses his displeasure in having to accept their dirty money, and offers to lend them some money till they tide over. The condition is that they’ll capture the thief and turn him into Leonhard anonymously. When Van questions his motives, he replies that it’s just a whim of the moment. However, he whispers that perhaps he just doesn’t want to see Cardia’s sad face. The auction soon starts, and continues smoothly till the last time appears – the pendant which was said to have been worn by Delacroix, the leader of the vampires during the war. Legend has it that possessing it will grant the owner great physical capabilities, youth and longevity.
Just then, a young boy loudly declares that he’s here to claim his treasure. He easily defeats the bounty hunters, and Van warns Cardia to be wary of the vampire boy. The boy introduces himself as Delacroix II, and his words send the audience into panic. Saint explains to Cardia that since a long time ago, humans have feared vampires. Even after the triumphant war, they still fear that the vampires will take revenge on them. As Impey quietly listens to this, Van observes that Delacroix II will seriously harm people at this rate and goes to stop him. Lupin notes that this is unlike Van, and they decide to take another route to wait for the vampire. Lupin predicts that he’s acting alone, so he will certainly come and hide in the nearby forest first.
True enough, Delacroix II shows up. Lupin insists that they’re not here to snatch the pendant from him, nor to hand him to the mafia. Instead, they hope that he can surrender himself to the police who will handle his case justly. Delacroix II refuses and they’re left with little choice. Here, Cardia can choose to either capture him or persuade him.
- Capture him: However, the boy moves faster and Impey barely manages to block his attack. As Cardia thanks Impey, Delacroix II is surprised at this fact.
- Persuade him: Despite this, Delacroix II is unable to trust humans. Saints calls for him to be calm and rational, and invites him to have some tea at his place. Delacroix II politely refuses, claiming that he is always calm and collected.
Van appears and greets the vampire as Dracula. The boy replies that he’s already abandoned that name, and inherited his father’s. Van tries to persuade Delacroix II from going further down the path, but his words only invoke fury in the boy. He says that he’ll wait for Van at the place where he killed his father. If he doesn’t come, he’ll kill him and his friends instead.
Several hours later, they all return to the mansion. In the end Delacroix II escaped and the organiser raised the reward money. Besides Van, the rest can’t decide whether they should continue to persuade Delacroix II, or finish him off before he harms them. At the same time, this is Van’s personal problem so they wonder if they should interfere or not. Eventually, Cardia remains alone in the room thinking, till Fran enters. He explains that the items Delacroix II all stole, were originally possessions of the vampire royalty. So in reality, he was taking back what belonged to them. Van probably knew of this.
When Cardia asks to know more about Van, Fran recalls that he personally infiltrated the vampire’s hideout and killed everyone there – including Delacroix. As a result, the war ended and all that’s left was to hunt out the remaining vampires. As she wonders if the war was truly necessary, he answers that he doesn’t know if the vampires did want to hurt them. But a war is only full of deaths, and he doesn’t believe the justice in it. Cardia notices his clenched fists, but Fran brushes her questions away. He doesn’t see Van as a cold-blooded murderer, and believes that the truth is far from what is written in history. That night, Cardia finds Van in the garden and she can choose to ask him about his past. If she does, Van confirms that he did kill Delacroix II’s father. But he refuses to say any more as it has nothing to do with her.
At the end of it, Van says that he’s going to find Delacroix II tomorrow morning. Back in her room, Cardia thinks of how everyone must have their own past and is still living with it. But for her case, she wonders what that past is.
In the end, everyone goes together with Van. The place is far away from London, and it takes them a few days to reach. They arrive at a desolate-looking mansion, and enter it. At the same time, Van explains that Delacroix II is a pure blood and that’s why he’s so strong despite being a child. They soon find Delacroix II waiting for them, and Van tells the rest not to interfere from here on. He asks the vampire to kill him quickly, if he’s able to do so. Provoked, Delacroix II attacks him and Van doesn’t retaliate. Saint observes that Van is reading the boy’s movements and avoiding a direct impact each time – though probably only Van is capable of doing this. Soon after, Van returns the attack and knocks Delacroix II down. Before the vampire can stand, both shotguns are aimed at his head. Van remarks that he’s much weaker than his father, so he can’t possibly win. Delacroix II demands to know why he isn’t shooting then, and why he didn’t do the same 2 years ago. Van merely replies that he doesn’t want to kill him.
But the moment Delacroix II jumps up, he is shot to the ground again. Cardia notices no signs of blood, and realises that he used rock salt shells – Van never intended to kill him from the start. Delacroix II vows to have his revenge on Van, for making use of his parents’ kindness and betraying them. But each time he gets up, Van shoots at him. He tells the boy to stop stealing back the treasures, for humans are far more cruel than he can imagine. He also tells Delacroix II to give up his revenge on humanity. However, once Van has achieved his goal, he will let Delacroix II kill him and that will be the end of his revenge. He doesn’t want the boy to hate anyone anymore. Delacroix II refuses to accept his superficial kindness, but at the same time Van refuses to finish him off. The vampire breaks down into tears.
Cardia doesn’t know much about the war, but to her both Van and Delacroix II appear as victims. Seeing the latter live in this empty mansion for 2 years reminds him of herself. As such, she asks if they can bring Delacroix II back with them. While the rest express their surprise, Lupin asks for her reason. She replies that being here alone must be lonely, and surely there are many things he won’t be able to see or know about. If he comes with them to a different place, perhaps he can start to see the same things in a different light. While her life is different from his, she understands the loneliness of not having parents and wants to help him.
Though Delacroix II doesn’t like her imposing her views on him, he remarks that this is his family’s grave and he needs to watch over it. In return, Van tells him to watch over him instead, in order to fulfill his revenge when the time comes. When Delacroix II confirms his intentions, Van says that it won’t erase his sins but it’s the only thing he can do now. As such, Delacroix II agrees to return with them.
At the same time, Finis gazes at the ceiling of the cathedral. He lets out a smile, as being here feels as though he’s with his father. Arester reports that they’ve found the location of what they’re looking for – somewhere in London. Though the opponent is an expert at escaping, it’s as if some force is stopping them. In any case, it’s the equivalent as not knowing anything and Arester asks for Finis to overlook it for now. He promises to do his best, since they’re in the final stage of the preparations. Arester then excuses himself as he has a lecture at the university tomorrow morning. Before he leaves, Finis questions if he couldn’t kill Van back then because he was his ex-disciple. The man denies this. Left alone, Finis knows that he’ll meet Cardia soon and they’ll become one – just as their father wished.
Chapter 6: Negotiated Solution
In the dream, he’s running on a barren field. Fran disposes of the gas mask he was wearing and is escaping – from the mountain of corpses. He can’t believe what he’s done. Each time a child reaches his/her hand out for help, the child dies. It’ll hell, and the one who created it is none other than him. Rain starts to pour and drowns out his cries. At that moment, Fran wakes up from the nightmare and mutters that he can’t be forgiven.
It’s been a week since Delacroix II came with them. But as expected, the distance between them still remains. Meanwhile, Saint helped them out with their financial situation temporarily, and they each did their best to save and earn money. That morning at the breakfast table, everyone is present except Delacroix II and Lupin. The former always remains in his room, and Cardia always leaves his meal before his room. The latter has been disappearing often as of late. Impey offers to cook up a feast tonight. At the same time, Impey gives Delacroix II the nickname “Dela”. Van offers to help too, but he points out their financial situation and questions if they can do so.
Just then, Lupin returns with a huge bag of money and says that it’s funds for their later plans. The rest guess that his target must have been a real crook. Lupin acknowledges this, and says that he needs to report to Dela about this too so he goes to find him. As Cardia takes Dela’s breakfast, she agrees to go grocery shopping with Saint for tonight’s dinner. Once more, she leaves it in front of the door, but wonders where Dela has disappeared to. She soon spots him in the garden playing with Sissy and feels happy to see him smiling. She realises that everyone must have felt the same way when they saw her smile for the first time. Cardia heads to the garden, while Dela declares that Sissy can be one of his subordinates.
He’s on his guard when Cardia appears though. She explains the story behind Sissy’s artificial leg. When Dela remarks that humans are really rotten to have hurt a dog, she answers that the ones looking after Sissy are humans too. Soon after, Lupin joins them and gives Dela a trunk full of the vampire royalty’s treasures. Apparently the people in possession of these were real crooks, and since he was stealing for Dela’s sake, he took the liberty of helping himself to the fee for his labour too (aka that huge bag of money). Dela awkwardly says that he won’t thank him, and is surprised at his new nickname. Before he can complain further, his stomach growls and he hurries off in embarrassment.
Later, Cardia goes to shop with Saint for tonight’s dinner, as well as machine parts for Impey and chemicals for Fran. He insists on Cardia only carrying one light bag though, and carries the rest of the heavy shopping. Outside, they also learn that the government is once again after Fran, and this time he’s being framed for attempting to blow up the train (back when they met Finis). Cardia soon realises that they’re headed in the opposite direction of the mansion, and Saint whispers that they’re being followed by 3 men – probably Tasogare’s. He promises to protect her, and asks for her opinion on how to react to the situation.
- Continue walking on the main street: Fran previously told her that Tasogare always works in the shadows, so they shouldn’t attack them in broad daylight. They can also hide within the crowd. Saint agrees, but unfortunately it isn’t the correct answer for now. He quickly throws down the grocery and leads Cardia into an alley. He explains that the right method won’t work with these people, and soon the 3 men catch up with them.
- Escape into an alley: Cardia leads Saint into an alley, to get away from the enemy. Saint agrees that this can work, though continuing to walk on the main street could work too. He explains that there is no absolute answer, for it’s possible that they purposely alerted them of their presence to lure them into a back alley. As expected, 3 men catch up with them.
Cardia quietly takes the test-tube she got from Fran, and says that she’ll distract them while Saint calls for the rest. They will just capture her since she’s their target, but they may kill him. Saint thanks her for her consideration, but says that he won’t die from this alone. Just then, a third party swiftly takes down 2 men, and they end up running away. It appears that they’d rather not get themselves caught lest they leak any information out.
Sholmes reveals himself and while Cardia thanks him, Saint notes that he must have been following Tasogare’s men. Sholmes describes the recent incidents of the vampire’s treasures being stolen and correctly analyses that the culprit is Lupin. However, he is off duty today and says that he’s not their enemy for now. But he will be tomorrow as the police have requested for his cooperation to capture Fran. He’s not sure of the true intentions, but if it means abiding to the law then he’d be more than happy to cooperate. In any case, he’s warning them now and advises them to leave the country. After the detective leaves, Cardia remarks that Sholmes and Lupin are rather alike, as both feel responsibility in their actions and are extremely confident. Saint agrees, but advises her not to mention it to Lupin as he was messed around a lot by Sholmes on the train.
After they do their shopping once more, they return to the mansion and share the news with the rest. As they discuss what to do, Fran points out that Finis is probably acting on his own to search for her. In other words, the government is solely after him. When Cardia misunderstands that he’s going to sacrifice himself, Fran denies this as he still has something left to do. He wants to negotiate with Queen Victoria herself, so as to safeguard their position. She must fear that the knowledge he possesses will be leaked to other countries. So in exchange for not doing so, he’ll ask for the safety of everyone – including the restraint of Tasogare’s movements from now on. They can also remain in London to continue searching for Isaac. When Cardia wonders why he didn’t do this from the start, Fran replies that if the queen doesn’t agree it would be him being locked up in the research room for eternity. But he doesn’t want to involve them in his problems anymore, and thinks that now is the time to act.
That night, Cardia revises what she’s been taught. After some time, she notices Fran in the garden and goes to find him. She thanks him for his proposal, as it’s the best solution for everyone. Fran remarks that he’s only safeguarding himself though, and adds that he’s the worst. She doesn’t understand him though, for she finds him extremely kind and brave. He smiles at her words, but only briefly. Cardia then asks to sit by his side for a while more.
The next day, Lupin shares the plan. Basically they’ll crash their way into Buckingham Palace and face the queen. Showing them a map of the place, he explains that security is especially tight where she lives. However, the only time when she appears in public is when conferring knighthood. Originally it was held within the palace, but now it’s held outside to the public. If they infiltrate successfully, they can negotiate with the queen before the public. In other words, by acting like terrorists the queen is forced to either choose between the safety of her people or her authority. There’s only 5 days till that day, so everyone hurries with the preparations. The plan is to drive to a nearby hotel, and then use ride the ornithopter towards the palace.
On the day itself, Dela is left to look after the house. While reluctant at first, he eventually says that someone has to take care of Sissy. At the hotel, they go through their roles again. But then Lupin hushes them, as he notices something amiss. Van and Saint also realise that there’s no one else but them in the hotel. Impey only wonders if they’re magic users to be able to know that lol. At that moment, Leonhard announces from outside that the hotel is surrounded with 200 men and orders them to surrender. Fran volunteers to act alone, but Cardia strongly objects to this. (If she remains quiet, Saint speaks up instead.) The rest also object. Meanwhile, Leonhard shouts at Lupin to surrender too. And for some reason he appears more obsessed with capturing Lupin as opposed to Fran. They quickly come up with a revised plan. One team will distract the soldiers, while one team will ride the ornithopter to the palace to negotiate with the queen. At that moment, tear gas is thrown into the room and Lupin shouts for everyone to exit the room.
- (Stay in the hotel: In Lupin’s route, Cardia wants to stay behind with him, Van and Saint. She’s worried that they’re outnumbered. While Lupin is happy at her feelings, he tells her to go ahead and protect Fran and Impey.)
At the corridor, Sholmes appears with soldiers behind him as he remarks that they’ve walked right into his trap. He remarks that he deciphered their plans from Lupin’s past crimes. He tells them to surrender, for they’ve sealed all possible exits. Fran denies this, as he throws a test tube on the floor – and the floor explodes under their feet. Lupin, Van and Saint deal with the soldiers, while Cardia, Impey and Fran go to negotiate. The latter team successfully make their way to the ornithopter and head towards the skies. Unfortunately, the British army’s airships appear in sight. They barely avoid getting shot, and instead a town bursts into flames. Fran guesses that Tasogare must want to interfere their meeting with the queen.
Impey ups the speed on his improved ornithopter, and they make a loud landing in the palace. Fran threatens to flip a bomb switch, which Impey recognises as a toy Fran had asked him to make. In other words, if the lie is seen through there’s a 99% chance of them getting killed instead. For the moment, Victoria orders her men to back down and Fran asks to speak with her alone. Only Cardia and Impey are within listening distance. Victoria notes how he’s grown into a disobedient puppy since 2 years ago. They quickly get to the point, as Fran demands for her to withdraw the search on him, to safeguard their well-being, and to acquit them of today’s ruckus. Victoria agrees to do so, if he works for the government again. When Fran refuses, she threatens them this time.
In return, he threatens to dispatch the secret of what she desires to other European countries, saying that he has already made arrangements with his friends. Victoria observes that he’s changed a lot, and directs her attention to Cardia. She remarks how her doll-like features is exactly like Finis and expresses her interest in Cardia if she’s related to Finis. Impey stands before Cardia, upon noticing the girl’s discomfort. When Fran threatens the queen again, she tells him that she won’t be deceived by a mere toy. In response, Fran tells Impey and Cardia to step back as he draws out a test tube. He says that it’s a specially-made explosive which will surely kill Victoria from this distance. It doesn’t look like he’s lying this time, but Victoria urges him on as she knows that he’s too cowardly to do so – even if dying is a form of salvation.
Cardia stops Fran, not wishing to see him sacrifice himself. The trump card they have left is the one on dispatching the secret outside. After stating this to the queen again, she decides to give into their requests. While she doesn’t know if they’re lying or not, the moment they leak the information this country will be done for. But before that, she’d make sure to finish them off. However, she recognises Fran’s brilliance and knows that he isn’t going to such lengths for his friends only. She also wonders the reason behind him staying in London despite the danger. In any case, she lets them off this time and announces that Fran is innocent to all crimes. She also warns that if anyone harms them, they’d be making an enemy of the country.
A day later, the news appears in the newspapers and the gang hold their belated party. As Cardia recalls the incident, she can’t help but see a great difference between the usual, kind Fran and the Fran who opposed the queen. Dela also joins them at the table, though he claims that he’s only here to make sure Sissy is eating well. Despite the current situation, it’s doubtful that Tasogare will give up their pursuit on Cardia. Fran also shares that he’s discovered a lead, or rather, a way to gain that lead on Isaac. Just then, the doorbell rings and it turns out to be Sholmes. He’s not here to capture them though, as it’s his off-day and moreover they’ve been declared innocent. He’s merely here to formally declare that they’re no longer enemies, and to share a piece of news. Though it’s not made official, Victoria is now extremely wary of Tasogare after it damaged the city as a result of their pursuit. So their movements should be pretty restrained. Though they’d probably still act in the shadows. In return for keeping this location a secret, Saint invites him to join them at the table much to Lupin’s displeasure.
Chapter 7: Illegal Race
The next day, Cardia brings dinner to Dela’s room. He refuses to dine with them again, saying that yesterday was a mistake. Sissy ends up dragging Dela out, and he awkwardly remarks that he’s merely listening to his subordinate’s advice. At the dinner table, Cardia notes Fran’s odd expression towards her. She wonders if it’s something to do with the lead he mentioned yesterday. Later, she starts to feel unsure about what tomorrow will bring – probably because she’s happy now. Fran then comes to find her and says that he’s been hesitating all this time. He decides to tell the rest tomorrow what he’s going to tell her now. They may discover the location of Isaac’s secret laboratory and it deeply intertwined with her horologium.
There’s an academy called the Royal Society, where a certain research was carried out in the past – to create the philosopher’s stone, a source of eternal energy and the base for immortality. Under Queen Victoria’s orders, a large amount of funds were poured into it. However, it failed and instead they created a preliminary material which they called jikterium (?). Feeling responsible for the failure, the researchers were driven away – but Isaac continued the research. Though Fran has no idea why he did so, he had the chance to see the research too. As such, he suspects that the stone Cardia has is actually jikterium, which was renamed to horologium. Fran doesn’t know anything else though, and apologises for the lack of useful information. Though Cardia doesn’t know her father’s intentions, she’s sure that he embedded the stone in her for her sake. Fran has a pained expression though, and admits that it took time for him to confirm that the two materials were common. Still, he knows that he should’ve informed them earlier. But as long as she desires for it, the truth will remain unchanged no matter what.
The next morning, he shares the same information with everyone else. However, in order to know the whereabouts of the secret lab, they have to first win the Black Gathering, an airship race held where the casino is. It’s a huge event held on the final day, and all of the underground society gathers there. The grand prize is none other than Isaac’s posthumous manuscripts. It was originally kept with the Royal Society, but apparently the members grew greedy and sold it off. And along the way, it ended up in the hands of the mafia. While Lupin boosts that he can just steal it, Fran explains that ever since Dela’s incident the mafia has sought for Sholmes’ cooperation this time. Upon hearing this, Lupin immediately agrees to participate in the race.
The problem is how to first get an airship. It’s impossible to create one from scratch given the limited time and money, and they don’t have enough to buy a new one. Even if they buy a regular one, they’d still need to spend a lot to improve its specs to win the race. While the rest pitch in with the funds, Lupin promises to do something about the base airship. And the next morning, he shows up with an airship. He stole it from a place where it wouldn’t hurt his conscience, and the police would even award him for it if they knew. Cardia offers to help Impey with the construction, and he also takes the chance to teach her how to pilot it.
3 days till the race day, Cardia finds Impey still working late into the night. She gives him some sandwiches she made, though Saint also helped her with it in the end. He invites her to sit on the rooftop with him and she takes the chance to ask him something. Thinking that she wants to ask about his type of girl, Cardia flatly denies this and instead asks his reason for becoming an inventor. After some thought, Impey replies that it must be because of the steam locomotive. He describes how he lived in the countryside and one day, everyone was making a fuss one day over a railway just outside the forest. While the adults were fearful, the children were curious and Impey joined them. Impey recalls the excitement he felt seeing it for the first time. Though everyone ran away, he remained there in awe and decided his fate. He wonders if she finds it fun listening to him talk about it.
- Extremely fun: Cardia answers that she’s happy to know more about him, which draws out an embarrassed look on his face as he never expected such an honest answer. He then tells her to rest, and says that he’ll continue working for a bit longer.
- I’m not sure: Cardia apologises, but Impey replies in a light-hearted tone that he’ll tell her an English joke instead. She refuses, and tells him it’s better to return to his work. Soon after, she excuses herself so as not to bother him.
On the day of the race, the other members discuss the details. In order to register for it, there needs to be at least 5 members so it’s best that everyone is present. But both Cardia and Impey remain quiet, till the latter finally kneels before them and apologises. He mistook the race day by 1 day, so he’s still not done with the airship. Cardia apologises too, as she had mistaken the date too. Impey promises to join them by 12pm when the race starts, as he finishes it up while they register first. Unfortunately, when they’re there the staff says that she needs to see their airship first, and asks for them to come again with it by 11am. There’s no time to head back to inform Impey of the new time, and they have no other means of communicating with him. They can only wait and believe in him. While they wait anxiously, Impey finally arrives just in time.
They successfully register, but a gang of sky pirates recognise the airship as theirs, and Lupin ducks out of their sight. Unfortunately, they take note of Impey’s name and face and vow to pay him back another time. After they settle all the initial procedures, a weirdly-dressed man approaches them as he admires their airship. He introduces himself as Nemo, and Impey is thrilled to have someone who understands the details behind the reconstruction of the airship. Nemo recognises Fran as his rival from when they were in the Royal Society, though Fran adds that it’s one-sided. Impey goes to check out Nemo’s airship before the race starts. Meanwhile, Cardia takes the liberty to explain everyone else’s role on the airship as they wait for him. When doing so, she notices a red button with the label “Danger Don’t Touch” and wonders what it is.
When Impey returns, he praises Nemo’s airship but declares that theirs is still the best- which he names Impey & Princess & Manservants. When the race starts, the commentator describes the situation live, noting that Impey’s airship had a good headstart. Unfortunately, since the name is too long, the commentator shortens it to Princess & Manservants lol. The other airships start to target them, especially the one owned by the sky pirates. Impey can only wonder what he did to offend them, since nobody explained it to him. Nemo starts shooting everyone down, though he isn’t exactly on their side as they’re attacked too. Observing the situation, Impey presses the red button and something emerges on the deck. Cardia can choose to either help with the retaliation or the repairs.
- Help with the repairs: Impey asks her to pilot the airship instead, as the repair work is still too much for her. He tells Fran and Saint to go to the deck for plan B with their secret weapon, while he handles the engine. Meanwhile, Lupin gives Cardia the directions to escape. She remains clueless on the counterattack. But it appears to be a success, though Van says that he’ll shoot Impey with his rock salt pellets later. When the attack is over, Impey returns to pilot the airship and thanks Cardia for her work.
- Prepare to counterattack: She and Saint join Van on the deck, and Cardia reads out the instruction manual given by Impey. Van starts to be suspicious when he’s told to enter the capsule, but the others urge him on. It’s too late to realise then that this is a cannon, and Saint presses the switch to launch the capsule with Van towards Nemo’s ship. Saint presses the switch again, and the capsule opens up. Van starts to shoot down the incoming bombs, and even walks on them – living up to the name of the human machine. After knocking the rest of the members inside the airship unconscious, Impey notes that Nemo should no longer be able to pilot it alone. True enough, the airship starts to sink and Impey checks that the wire is still attached to Van. Saint presses the switch again, and he is forcibly pulled back to the deck, landing painfully. The attack is a success, but Van vows to pay Impey the favour back.
Unfortunately, Fran reports that the engine is overheated and they have no choice but to crash into the goal. The audience all flee the scene, and their airship is crashed into pieces. But everyone is safe and they win the race and grand prize. Everyone smiles for the photo, and Impey remarks that the effort was worth it all as he sees Cardia’s bright smile.
Chapter 8: Nobody Understand Truth
Cardia dreams of her past again, of her father warning her not to learn about love. She wonders why she’s chasing after the truth, as the voice starts to drown her out. Every time in this dream, she collects pieces of her memory back from her inner conscious – and every time she regrets it. Then she would pray to forget everything the next morning. Tomorrow, everyone will head to Isaac’s secret lab after discovering clues on its whereabouts from his posthumous manuscripts.
But Cardia is unable to erase the uneasiness in her after waking up from the dream and heads down to the garden. There, she finds Saint who observes her tragic expression and volunteers to listen to her worries. After hearing her out, he remarks that they may find out nothing, something or everything. It’s not for certain that they’ll discover anything, so there’s no use worrying over it. But she’s not going alone and he’s sure that everyone will watch over her as she finds her own answer. Still, Cardia can’t help but be afraid of losing her friendship with everyone if her identity as a monster is proven true. Saints reassures her that nothing will change, and says that he wants to know more about her. Cardia ends up confiding her past in him.
2 years ago, she woke up and couldn’t remember anything. Her father only left a letter for her, telling her to wait for his return and to not leave the house. Feeling nothing, Cardia merely accepted what he wrote and remained indoors. Till one day she heard children laughing outside. Curious, she peeks outside and the children flee from her. One of them drops a doll and Cardia chases after them to return it – till she’s out of the forest and the children inform some adults that she appeared from the haunted mansion. The villagers notice that the plants have all died from the trail she’s walked on for she’s barefooted. They start to throw stones at her, calling her a monster. One man even steps out to hit her, but his hand ends up melting.
Cardia ends up running away in the opposite direction of her house, but the villagers chase after the burnt trail she’s left behind. Soon, she meets a young woman picking herbs. Despite observing the dead plants around Cardia, she insists on treating Cardia’s injured leg. Recalling what happened to the man, Cardia glares at her but the woman is unfazed. She introduces herself as Elaine, and says that she can’t leave behind a girl who’s being chased after. She leads Cardia to a rocky area, and tends to her injury. After that, Cardia learns that she’s living with her daughter, Etty, in a little cottage in the forest, and sells the medicine she makes from the herbs she gathers. As a token of gratitude, Cardia offers her help. Though she initially wanted to return to the mansion after the villagers gave up chasing after her, she wanted to stay with them more.
One day, a priest visits the house and asks Elaine if a girl came by. When she denies this, the priest blames the recent calamities on the monster, and says that they need to defeat her in order to overcome it all. But those who take the side of the monster, won’t be forgiven. Another month passes, and while Cardia’s promise to her father is important – she finds it fun here. She tells herself the excuse that if she leaves them, she will be caught outside. But one day, Cardia, Elaine and Etty are cornered by the priest and villagers after they set fire on their house. Elaine protects Cardia when stones are thrown at her, and she insists that Cardia is a normal girl aside from that one feature. If she was a monster, all of them would be killed in an instant. Hearing this, the priest proposes to close them up in the cave for 13 days. If they aren’t killed by Cardia, then they would admit their mistakes and accept Cardia. If they are, then they’ll kill Cardia. Elaine agrees, but asks that Etty be left out of this. Upon coming to an agreement, the Cardia and Elaine left in the cave.
Inside, Elaine talks continuously, as if looking back on her life. It’s hard to tell how much time has passed inside, but the days are indeed passing by as a change starts to occur in Elaine. She starts coughing, probably due to the poison accumulating in the air. But she insists that it’s her illness, and not Cardia’s poison. Cardia desperately tries to melt away the rocks, but Elaine continues to reassure her that the three of them will continue living as per normal after this. Then one day, Elaine weakly asks Cardia to find a notebook on herbs in the basement of their burnt house, which she had inherited from her own mother. She wants Cardia to give it to Etty, so that she will be able to live on if she’s alone. Cardia doesn’t respond to what appears to be her last words, and continues melting the rocks.
Finally, a ray of light shines through but it’s too late. Elaine lies still on the ground with a smile on her face, and Cardia starts crying. If they hadn’t accepted her, surely she would still be alive. After that, Cardia carries out her last wishes and passes it to Etty, who had moved to the next village. Hearing the news, Etty wishes that Cardia had died instead of her mother. She doesn’t remember much after that, but somehow she made her way back to the mansion and never left it ever since. She killed her feelings, and never involved herself with anyone again. She has to live alone, for she is a monster.
Saint observes her painful expression. But Cardia says that she’s not in pain, but the one giving others pain. In response, he says that Elaine and Etty were indeed in pain – but so is Cardia. But she continues to deny this, for she hasn’t lost anything and is trying to become happy now. After some thought, Saint remarks that he believes that being happy is the most painful punishment in this world. Your regrets will forever remain deep inside your heart even when you’re happy, even when you keep telling yourself that there was no other choice. But the memories will forever live inside of you for as long as you live. He thinks that hell is within each of our hearts, and prays that Cardia can escape it one day.
- Thank you: Cardia feels a bit saved to know that someone understands her. In return, Saints thanks her for telling him everything.
- You don’t understand: When Cardia replies this, Saint acknowledges it. But he adds that one’s sins, punishments, and forgiveness all exist within your heart. And he hopes that her heart will find peace.
Afterwards, they head back inside but a part of Cardia’s heart still remains in the darkness back then. The next day, everyone goes to the said location of the secret lab, which is actually an abandoned graveyard. Fran recalls the Black Death in the 14th century, and how badly it affected England. Amidst the panic, people started to use poison to attack each other. Those who were suspected of doing so ended up being enclosed in masses, and killed in a facility below this graveyard. The facility is a stain on history, so the politicians sealed it and left it forgotten. But Isaac decided it change it into his secret lab. The clue left in the manuscripts was “In the past, many were killed here. It’s a tragedy brought about from uneasiness, confusion and ignorance. I want to redo things from here. All of humanity’s aspirations will start from here.” which led them to this place.
They discover the entrance, and climb underground into a dark area. They light it up with a nearby switch, and are amazed that electricity is being used to power it. The group then decides to split up and search, before regrouping and sharing their finds. Lupin doesn’t have a good feeling about this place, so he thinks that they should leave as soon as possible. He tells Cardia to be accompanied by someone, and she can choose:
- Lupin: They find their way into a library of books, and go through them one by one. As they search, Cardia wonders why he’s going this far even if he’s a champion of justice. So while she’s happy at his kindness, she also feels uneasy. Moreover, he’s from France so she doesn’t get why he’s stopping a terrorist plan in London. Lupin replies that the trigger is his benefactor. But before he can go on, Fran calls for them to gather.
- Van: They find their way into a library of books, and start to go through them. Van thanks her as he would never have found this place if he had not cooperated with them. Cardia is thankful to him too, as she’s been saved by him many times. After a while, she asks if he hates Finis, wanting to know more about him. But once more, he replies that it’s personal and that she does not need to know.
- Fran: Fran is shocked at the ground-breaking discoveries hidden inside the volume of books. He eventually finds one about jikterium, describing a facility for it and an international terrorist plan involving it. He explains that it was used as a lethal gas attack in the vampire wars 2 years ago. But there was still remaining amounts after that, which disappeared. Naturally, Victoria panicked and sent her men to search but to no avail. From the note, Fran confirms that the remaining jikterium must be in London as he’d guessed. He frantically searches for more clues, but Lupin soon calls for everyone to gather. Fran calms himself down, and apologises to Cardia.
- Impey: They find their way into a library of books, and Impey is excited to read about all sorts of inventions. Cardia is thankful to be with him, as his mood keeps her optimistic. As she searches the books, she spots Nemo in one of them concerning the development of Nautilus. The page is torn, but it does establish a link between Nemo and Isaac.
- Saint: The others wonder when they got this close, and Lupin teases Impey that the distance between him and Cardia has widened instead. They find their way into a library of books, and take their time to go through them. Cardia also thanks him for listening to her yesterday, as she felt better afterwards. Later, she trips over some books and Saint helps her up. Coincidentally, he finds something among the pile and smiles briefly, before slipping it back. When asked what it was, he dismisses it as trivial but apologises for not showing her first. When they’re about to join the rest, Cardia wonders the reason behind his sad look. He merely replies that anyone would be when the time to part has come, as he looks at the books again.
The members soon regroup. But before they can share what they found, Lupin hushes everyone as he senses enemies on the move. It looks like Tasogare has ignored the queen’s orders and come for them. The lights go off at once, and Lupin immediately tells Cardia to leave with Saint first to find another escape route while the rest fend off the enemies.
Saint: Well now……my eyes have more or less become used to it, it’s about time for us to make our move.
Fran: Become used to, this darkness?
Lupin: I have no problem—
Van: Same here.
Impey: I could see faintly since the start!
Fran: ……E, everyone isn’t normal……
After running for some time, Cardia realises that she’s lost Saint. She calms her nerves and recalls what everyone taught her, before moving onto find an escape route for everyone. She ends up entering a room, and Finis greets her. Seeing her tense expression, he wonders if she’s afraid of her own brother. He then reveals he was the one who led them here. They were having a hard time tracking down their location, which he finds odd considering how it’s a group of individuals vs. an organisation. But in any case, he prepared the grand prize for the Black Gathering which lured them here..
When Cardia starts to ask him questions about herself, his expression turns cold as he wonders why their father only loved her. He loves father so much and is so useful, as compared to her who possesses nothing. Their roles are only slightly different, yet it’s always her. Fear runs through Cardia, as she sees that Finis isn’t showing anger – in fact he’s void of any feelings. Finis then says that he was planning to tell her the truth from the start here, the place which he had protected in place of father all this time. As he lights up the whole room, Cardia is faced with large glass containers filled with many replicas of herself – with wings, with scales, with 4 arms etc. But all looking just like her, and with the stone embedded in their chest. Finis explains that these are the 665 failed experiments of her, the 666th homunculus. He confirms that she isn’t human, but a monster father created.
Cardia is in disbelief, while Finis mocks her. He’s aware that she broke her promise to father, and ended up killing the person who saved her, Elaine. When she begs him to stop, he merely smiles and tells her to stop acting like a human. She’s a monster who has surpassed humans. He promises to treat her well, since it was the duty given to him by father. She has no place among humans. So if she doesn’t want to hurt those she loves anymore, she should join him in fulfilling their given roles. Finis reaches out his hand to her, and she’s tempted to take it.
- Lupin: Lupin appears and grabs Cardia from behind, saying that he can’t let Finis take away their precious princess. Moreover, it’s a gentleman’s duty to save a lady in trouble. He had stuck a listening device onto Cardia’ hat, so he overheard everything. Though he’s surprised at the truth, Cardia is herself. She feels happy when he hugs her tightly. Lupin asks if she really wants to follow Finis, and she replies that she won’t let go of his hand since he accepted it. Finis only laughs, saying that he didn’t truly want to welcome her anyway. He only wanted to respect their father’s wishes, but it’s alright now. He takes out a pendant, saying that he’ll release her now.
- Van: Finis stops when Van appears in sight, pointing his guns at him. The latter demands to know why Finis didn’t die back then. But Finis is annoyed at being interrupted yet again, and remarks that it’s useless no matter what he does.
- Fran: Cardia panics and backs away from Finis, who reveals a red pendant. He says that he’ll release her now, and she instinctively knows that it’s nothing good for her. Frozen with fear, she is helpless as he draws the pendant near her. Her body is scorched with heat, and Finis laughs at how she’ll soon be transformed into a real monster. Just then, Fran blinds Finis as he throws a test tube. Finis wonders if he’s here to atone for his sins, and provokes Fran. But it’s too late as he already used the key (pendant) to complete the horologium.
- Impey: He appears before them, and promises to save Cardia. She is uneasy though, as she’s never seen him fight before. Hearing this, Impey is determined to reveal his strength today.
Impey: Oi, Finis! The price for laying your hands on my lover is……heavy!?
Cardia: I don’t recall becoming your lover.
Impey: The price for laying your hands on my future lover is……heavy!?
Cardia: I don’t plan on becoming your lover in the future……
Impey: T, the price for laying your hands on my important person is……heavy!?
Cardia: Those words make me very happy.
Finis ends up extremely irritated, and states that he doesn’t want to see Cardia’s lively face. Her original self is that of a monster who is feared and disdained. Impey replies that he shouldn’t decide that, and only the person himself/herself should decide what they’ll be. Seeing the touched face of Cardia, he wonders if he said something good and repeats it again. Though it doesn’t have the same effect anymore.
- Saint: Finis touches her face, and a burnt smell fills the room. But he merely laughs at this, as though he felt no pain at all. She’s a monster created by father. Cardia starts to resist.
(This happens in all routes.) Out of the blue, Saint stabs Finis in the chest. The former introduces himself as the agent of fate, the guiding hand of history, or rather the disciple of Idea. Finis immediately recognises the name Idea, and the only presence his father was on guard against. He finally realises why he could never locate where Cardia was, but Saint kills him before he can finish his words. He falls to the floor like a broken doll. Saint remarks that with Finis gone, Tasogare should be retreating for now. Still in shock, Cardia wonders if this should have been the way to end things.
- Lupin: Cardia feels dizzy, and Lupin steadies her. He remarks that nothing’s over yet – not the terrorist plan, nor the solution to her poison. Now is only the beginning.
- Van: Saint apologises for attacking Van’s revenge target, but explains that he couldn’t pass up the chance. Meanwhile, Cardia sees that her only lead has disappeared. Van tells her that they’ll find another way to find Isaac. But now that Finis is dead, he will be killed by Dela in return as promised. So he can’t see things through the end with her.
- Fran: Cardia’s body still feels hot, but she insists that she’s alright and tells the rest to find the way out. Worried, Fran tells her to let him know if it gets too painful.
- Impey: He asks why Saint killed Finis, for there could have been other ways. Saints sees it as necessary though, and remarks that Impey can’t move forward because he’s too kind. There are times when he needs to act like this. Though Cardia can’t fault Saint’s logic, she thinks that Impey should remain the way he is. She’s been saved by his kindness numerous times. Saint recognises it as Impey’s strength then, though he doesn’t understand it fully.
- Saint: He denies it, saying that it’s from here on that Finis will truly be destroyed. In his usual kind tone, despite the act he’d just committed. Cardia starts to feel fear, and Saint weakly asks if she’s afraid of him. He admits that if he were in her place, he would feel the same way. But he hopes that she can believe that he only wants to protect her.
In any case, they have to quickly leave the place to join the rest. Cardia can only wonder who she is, as well as who Finis is. The one who knew all the answers is no longer there. Before leaving, she closes Finis’ eyes. As expected, Tasogare retreats as if they’ve already heard of Finis’ death. Thanks to that, everyone escapes safely. But Cardia ends up locking herself in her room after they return. The rest went back to the secret lab once more, but apparently all of the key information were taken away by another party. In the end, they didn’t find out the full truth.
Late one night, Cardia packs her belongings into the trunk. Though she once believed that she could become a normal human, she isn’t. Being the monster that she is, she doesn’t want to involve Lupin and the rest anymore. Surely they all fear her now. Though in truth, she’s the one who fears their gazes now – that they’d look at her like how the villagers in the past did. And that she might kill them like Elaine. Cardia leaves the house, and looks at it once last time.
- Lupin: She realises that if Lupin never kidnapped her, she would’ve never come to this mansion and would’ve remained alone. She quietly apologises for not being of use to Lupin in the end, and thanks him for the wonderful experiences she’s gained before walking away.
- Van: Her head is filled with Van. She found him scary at first, but over time she was saved by his kindness numerous times. She wonders what will happen to him now, but it’s a problem between him and Dela. She thanks everyone, and walks away from the mansion.
- Fran: She feels lonely at the thought of no longer seeing them, especially Fran. But she soon bumps into him, and he asks if the truth is painful – that she isn’t a human. His straight words surprise Cardia, especially when he adds that after observing her all this time, he concluded that she is a created existence. But he never told her, not wanting to hurt her. Seeing that he knew the truth long ago, Cardia wonders how he’s thinks of her as a doll, a monster. Fran denies this. She may be a creation, but a doll doesn’t smile or get sad and a monster doesn’t love others. So to him, Cardia is a kind girl. Fran tells her to believe in them, that none of them will ever see her as a monster. Slowly, she takes his outstretched hand and he thanks her for choosing to believe. As Cardia heads back inside, he says that he’s forgot something and promises to be back by dawn. He’ll definitely cure her poison. But he never returned, even after a few days.
- Impey: He finds her outside, and says that he’ll go with her to find Nemo. He also has something he wants to ask Nemo. He has left a proper letter for Lupin too, so it’s all good. Though it defeats the purpose of her leaving alone, Cardia feels somewhat comforted that Impey’s with her.
- Saint: He bumps into Cardia just outside, on the way back from a noble community gathering. There he still heard movement about Tasogare, so he doesn’t think she should be travelling out alone. For some reason, they seem to still be after her. Hearing this strengthens Cardia’s decision to leave as she doesn’t want to endanger the rest. Saint agrees, but adds that it doesn’t include him. He will inform the rest later. She’s a special existence to him so he wants to leave with her. When asked about his luggage, he replies that it isn’t necessary as the hideout they’re headed for is well-equipped. And he doesn’t plan to remain there for long.
Whew, hope it isn’t too confusing to read. Especially the last section. Like I mentioned at the start, I’ll add the rest of the content as I do the other routes, so do expect updates and changes. Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading as much as I did playing! I don’t know when I can finish writing Impey’s post
I haven’t even started though hopefully it won’t be as lengthy as this.