Next up is Saint-Germain (CV: Hirakawa Daisuke). If it wasn’t obvious from first sight, Saint is hiding a lot from the rest! This follows from the Common Route.
Chapter 9: Twilight
Saint leads Cardia deep into a forest. As she follows him, she realises that she knows nothing about him. She wonders why he’s going to such an extent for her. He always wears that same smile like a veil, to avoid getting too involved with people. Wanting to know more about him, Cardia asks what he thinks of her. Ever since she saw the truth in the underground lab, she no longer understands who she is. So she wants to know how he thinks. In return, Saint smiles at her. Though he was a bit surprised, he isn’t fearful of her. From what he’s observed of her, she’s the kindest lady he’s known of. His words melt away her worries. Even if it’s a sweet lie, she doesn’t mind.
As they continue walking, Saint tells her of his travels. Looking up, the moon shines brightly and he remarks that no matter how much human civilisation develops, the sky still remains the same. In the past, he once committed a huge sin. He regretted his decision ever since, and he’s been committing another sin in order not to repeat it again. Almost a day passes by, and they end up before the same mansion. Saint explains that it only looks the same, and that he owns several mansions as hideouts. The layout inside is exactly the same, and only those who know the forest well can locate it. When he opens the gates, Cardia sees that there will no longer be any friends to welcome her. It’s no different from when she was left alone waiting for her father.
Seeing her hesitation, Saint takes her hand and tells her to return to the rest if she’s still unsure. If she lives here, there’s no turning back. While it isn’t wrong for her to leave them to avoid putting them in danger, it isn’t wrong either to trust them and fight together. Ever since he met her, Saint hasn’t been able to decide on what is right or wrong. Cardia sees that he appears lost, as he no longer wears his usual smile. He leaves the final decision to her, and tells her to choose such that she won’t regret anything. In response, Cardia sticks to her initial decision. Though Lupin and the rest aren’t here, Saint is. Though she doesn’t know why he appears hesitant, what he says has always been right so she’ll believe in that.
Hearing this, Saint invites her in before he wavers. As he said, the layout is exactly the same. He soon prepares dinner and Cardia can’t help but feel a bit lonely. She also feels a bit guilty, and worries that Lupin and the rest will panic and think that she was kidnapped. Saint remarks that her words aren’t incorrect, and that unfortunately that chance will never come as they won’t ever find out about this place. He put in effort to hide this mansion, and no normal person can uncover it. Everything has been set in motion, and there’s no turning back. He adds that Impey and Fran created a machine to detect the poison in the horologium, but he made sure to destroy of it already.
Saint apologises to her for lying that Tasogare is still after her. After he temporarily killed Finis back then, he secretly went again to make sure to completely kill him. So they are no longer after her. In that case, Cardia can questions why he led her here since Lupin and the rest won’t be in danger. Unfortunately, Saint is unable to answer her. She starts to lose focus of her surroundings, as she wonders if something was mixed into her food. As she slowly loses consciousness, Saint carries her to her room.
On the way, he asks if she knows of the nursery rhyme, Ring a Ring o’ Roses. As he recites it for her, he remarks how it’s both a fun but cruel song as it’s said to be linked to the Black Death. But it’s not just songs. Life can be bright and fun, but there’s also a cruel reality on the other side. Cardia was enjoying her days, but underneath it all there was a monster called fate waiting for its chance to swallow her. And now is that time. When he puts her down on the bed, Cardia pretends to remain sleeping till he leaves the room. Soon after, she struggles to get up though her body still feels numb.
Just then, Saint enters the room with a dagger. He’s surprised to see her up, as normally one would be knocked out for 10 hours. But he guesses that the medicine doesn’t work as well on her. The dagger is smeared with a special numbing poison, so that the person will be killed painlessly. As expected, he’s going to kill her but strangely Cardia feels no fear. The Saint she knows won’t do it. Still, when he approaches her she swings the dagger away. If he’d wanted to, he could’ve killed her immediately. Cardia observes that he’s hesitating. Refusing to answer why, he pushes her down on the bed and strangles her. He’d wanted to put her to rest without any pain, even if it’s for his own self-satisfaction. Though he knows that her death is for the correct path of fate, yet he’s hesitating. For some reason, his expression looks like he’s in even more pain than her. Cardia passes out, and her mind is filled with Saint.
Chapter 10: Seeker
Cardia wakes up with her throat throbbing in pain, reminding her that what happened wasn’t a dream. It still doesn’t feel like reality, and she can’t feel any hate towards Saint. She checks if there’s any escape route, but the windows are locked and her poison doesn’t work on the door. She can’t help but think that she won’t see Saint anymore if she does escape though. Just then, a knock is heard and he enters with breakfast. He notes that she must have been trying to find a way out, and informs her that her poison won’t work as he helped himself to Fran’s research. Cardia realises that he must have done the preparations since a while back, and that he has always kept a clear distance from everyone else.
While she remains bewildered over why he’s doing this, considering how he saved her countless times. Saint wonders quietly to himself too, but says that he has to kill her. He won’t commit the same failure like last night’s, but he also doesn’t want to kill her in pain. He’d need to use the same poison, which involves complicated preparations and its effects don’t last for long. So he’d only be finished making it again tomorrow night – for she’d be safe for at least these 2 days. Cardia no longer understands him, but still wants to believe in him. His words surprise him, especially when she adds that she doesn’t think of him as an enemy and that he surely has his reasons. In response, Saint sadly remarks that he wished they could meet under different circumstances. If so, he wouldn’t be feeling this way now.
After he leaves, Cardia is left sitting in the room. Before she knows it, Saint is back with the next meal. He admits that he’s doing this for his own self-satisfaction. He also observes how she’s extremely calm, and she replies that she doesn’t feel the sense of reality. And rather than shivering in fear which would be meaningless, she’d rather choose to believe in him and wait for her chance. It’s all thanks to Lupin and co. that she can think this way.
Hearing this, Saint remarks that he wished he could be one of those existences which would save her too. While his words continue to puzzle her, Saint says that he’ll be back with dinner. Cardia rejects him, for she actually doesn’t need to eat. She never ate till she met Lupin and the rest. But she did so at the mansion as it was fun with everyone around. When she asks if it’s not possible to go back to those times, he merely smiles sadly at her and says that he’ll be back with dinner. Though he doesn’t qualify to say this, he did feel something special in the times he spent with her. He also wished that those days with everyone could continue on forever. He’d probably doing this too, in order to spend more time with her.
When Saint returns with dinner, Cardia questions if he’s killing her upon someone else’s orders. After thinking about it the whole afternoon, she came to that conclusion. After a long silence, he denies this and insists that he’d doing this on his own will. He has to carry the burden of this sin. She points out his sad expression though. He eventually replies that it must be because his days with her were precious, and that’s causing his hesitation. As he smiles, he corrects himself to say that it must be because he loves her. His time with her causes him to recall the days in which he was alive. Saint refrains himself from saying anything else, and tells her to pray without any regrets for the last day. When Cardia points out that she is filled with regrets, he says that there’s no other peaceful way for her to die. And he’d rather she die by his own hands as opposed to someone else’s.
Frustrated by the situation, she describes how she’d always thought of him as a mysterious person. Still, she thought of him as someone kind and reliable, and wanted to learn more about him. Yet now the more she converses with him, the less she understands him. He’s not giving her any chance to believe in him. Saint cuts her words, saying that she doesn’t need to understand him. Given the situation, she should hate him. That way, he’d feel more at ease. As she’s left alone, Cardia’s head is filled with questions. Despite her life being an artificial one, she doesn’t want to die – for his sake too. She’s sure that if he kills her, his heart would be scarred too. In that case, she can only escape and unite with the rest to persuade Saint.
But throughout the night she kept trying to find a way out but her poison worked on none of the floors, walls etc. Worn out, Cardia lies on the bed and falls asleep. The next morning, she wakes up to find the sheets pulled over her, and Saint just in front of her. Instinctively, she tries to push him away. However, he grabs her hands instead and covers her mouth. Just like when he attempted to strangle her, her poison doesn’t burn through his gloves. He apologises for treating her like this, but the situation has changed so he can’t have her running about like last night lest that person finds her. Saint ties her to the bedpost, and adds that the rope is resistant to her poison too. He pleads for her to remain quiet, for he won’t pass her to anyone else. Her life is his to take. But Cardia states that she will escape by tonight, and is informing him in advance as she doesn’t want to lie to him.
Seeing that this may be their last time together, she bids him farewell and says that she’s glad to have met him. If not, she wouldn’t be thinking that she wants to live now. Saint looks like he’s about to reply something, but instead he bids her farewell too. Left alone, Cardia calms herself down and starts to let herself out of the rope, as taught by Lupin. By the time she’s finished, night has fallen. Seeing that her poison has no effect, and she can’t knock down the door, the only way left is to pick the lock. She creates one by melting the handle of a cabinet, which thankfully isn’t poison resistant.
After Cardia unlocks the door, she attempts to melt the window to no avail. She analyses that the only way out is the entrance, and quickly heads there. Once more, she tries to use her poison and it works when she passes her finger through the door hole. But it would take too long, so she resolves to pick the lock again. Cardia succeeds, and Saint is shocked to see her dash out of the door. She quickly closes it before running off, as taught by Lupin, so that the pursuer won’t see the direction you run off to. Cardia dashes through the forest for a while, before coming out onto the streets. For some reason, the distance feels much shorter. Though she isn’t sure whether there are mysterious forces at work, or whether Saint purposely took a roundabout way to confuse her.
In any case, she hurries back to the mansion. But just outside the gates, an armoured stranger with a large sword jumps down at her. It doesn’t seem like it belongs to Tasogare, and Cardia recalls seeing its shadow on the first night she arrived at the mansion. Perhaps Saint knew this and purposely lied to her. The figure remains quiet when Cardia asks if it knows Saint, and instead draws its sword at her. It chases after Cardia when she attempts to flee, till Van and Fran appear timely to save her. Everyone had been searching for her all this time. Van observes that none of his bullets seem to work, and tells Fran to escape with Cardia to the gathering point first. They do as told, and soon after Van catches up with them but with an injured leg. Thankfully, they’re not being chased after and Fran quickly treats the wound. Since the mansion’s location is now known to the armoured pursuer, they head an inn in London instead. There, Fran fully treats Van’s wound, and they wait for Lupin and the rest to join them. Cardia tries to fall asleep that night, as she recalls Saint’s sad smile.
Chapter 11: Saint-Germain
The following morning, they are joined by with Lupin, Impey, Dela and Sissy. Cardia faithfully recounts what happened to them. While they are upset that she left without a word, the matter concerning Saint is more pressing. Van and Fran label him as dangerous, while Lupin and Impey are less inclined to immediately see him as their enemy since they’ve been acquainted with him longer. So Van asks Cardia what she wants to do, and she replies that she wants to save Saint. The smile he had shown them all along wasn’t his true one – it was one to deceive others, but more than that it was probably to deceive himself. For if it were former, then he would no longer have needed to put up a pretence when he’d kidnapped her. Yet he continued to remain smiling before her, as if to hide his real self. So Cardia wants to see his true smile.
Lupin states that they can still continue their journey to find a way to remove her poison and forget about Saint, and confirms if this is what she truly wants. Cardia agrees, rather than her previous wish she’d rather wish for Saint’s happiness. She wonders since when she’d felt this way, and apologises to everyone for her selfishness. But everyone else agrees to help her for various reasons, but above all they can’t leave Saint alone either. Hearing this, Cardia realises that she’d been wrong from the start to think that it was her own burden to carry.
First off, they have to start gathering information on him. Fran recalls having seen Saint’s name as an author of an alchemy-related article. However, it was written 200 years ago. Normally, one would think that perhaps it was his ancestor or a coincidence. But the handwriting is exactly the same, and Saint always spoke as though he possessed deep knowledge and experience. Cardia can’t help but agree with this, but Van isn’t convinced. Lupin then asks Cardia if there was anything odd about Saint during her kidnap which caught her attention. She recalls his words about making the wrong decision back then, and is committing another sin to avoid repeating that. Left with no other leads, they spend the next few days searching for information on him and the armoured figure. Cardia and Van even went to find the other mansion again, but for one reason or another they can’t track it down again.
Hitting another dead end, Lupin asks Cardia if she can recall anything else. Dela adds that it doesn’t have to be when he kidnapped her. At this point, she suddenly recalls the time when Saint killed Finis and his mention about Idea. Though no one has heard of the word before, they conclude that Saint and the armoured figure may very well know each other, and be linked to Idea and Isaac. This being the case, Cardia requests to visit the secret lab once more. On their way there, she wonders if her feelings for him grew over the days. She also recalls how he prayed for her when she disclosed her painful past to him, and felt somewhat saved by it.
Upon reaching the graveyard, Impey comments on how it’s always raining when they come here. The rest have been here countless times, but it’s Cardia’s second time here. Knowing how painful it can be for here, Lupin tells her that it’s okay to not come along. But she replies that she won’t run away if it’s to learn more about Saint. Looking at her kindly, he remarks that she’s changed a lot since the time he first met her and asks which part of Saint she likes. Cardia answers that she did feel that way a while back, but now she isn’t sure due to his sudden change. So she wants to meet him once more to confirm it, and to fall for him once more. Nodding at her words, Lupin mutters that he’s jealous. As he’s about to say something else, Fran interrupts them as everyone else is heading underground.
Somewhere along the way she sensed that Saint’s reason for killing her must be due to her nature. So once inside, Cardia heads to the place where she met Finis. According to Lupin, Finis’ body had disappeared when they returned the second time. Just then, she spots a beautiful red pendant and guesses that it belonged to Finis. It suddenly shines alluringly and her horologium starts to grow hot. Fran separates the pendant from her in time, as he hypothesises that the pendant may be a key item to completing the horologium. After she was gone, he continued researching and analysed that the nearer to completion the horologium is to a philosopher’s stone, the stronger her poison grows. In other words, if it’s complete no one can survive next to her due to the lethality. The pendant may be dangerous, but it could also be a clue on how to remove the poison. So Fran wraps it in a handkerchief and keeps it for now.
At that moment, Lupin calls for them as they’ve found a clue related to Idea. Isaac wrote on one of his notes that the only one he fears is Idea, an organisation which has guided the history of mankind since ancient times. He is someone who has committed a forbidden act of god, so they are each other’s enemies. Isaac vowed to fight for the sake of this new world, and his earnest wish, in order to break the restraints of god. If what Isaac wrote is true, it would be that Idea is after Cardia because her existence is forbidden. Just as they’re about to return to searching for more clues, they hear the sound of metal clanging.
The armoured figure appears and the rest distract its attention while Cardia and Lupin flee. But the pursuer soon catches up with them. As Cardia worries about the rest, Lupin reassures that they should be alright for there is no sign of blood on the sword or armour. He quickly switches off the lights, and leads her towards the exit. But the figure isn’t caught by surprise, and stabs Lupin in the shoulder. While he affirms that he’s alright, he tells her to escape first. As the armoured figure swings its sword, everyone is stunned by the appearance of Saint. Moreover, he protected them. When the pursuer questions him, he merely replies that the one who will kill her is him. The armoured lady asks if he’s planning on betraying them, and she states that Omnibus sent her here since he wasn’t finishing the job. Saint denies this, and they end up fighting. The attacker manages to stab him, and before she can deal another blow Cardia steps in between. The figure is puzzled, for Saint tried to kill her.
In response, Cardia points out that he’d saved her just now, and many other times too. When she asks if they aren’t on the same side, Saint replies that she’s Guinevere, the queen who brought about tragedy and is now tied down to Idea for her sins. He then removes the sword from his wound and gets up, as if he’s fine. Guinevere didn’t expect him to die so easily, but asks how many more times he can revive. Before they continue, Saint tells Cardia to escape with Lupin. She does as told, for no matter what the outcome is her life will be in danger.
Before she leaves, Saint tells her that he’ll definitely come for her. Lupin states that he won’t thank Saint, but he has lots to complain about so he tells Saint to live. Cardia agrees, a remark which Saint finds very odd. Afterwards, everyone returns to the inn. A doctor treats their wounds, and Cardia is left worrying over Saint’s safety. Lupin assures her that he is not one to easily die, moreover he did say that he’d come for her. Oddly, Cardia finds herself wanting Saint to fulfill that promise. Before retiring for the night, she wants some fresh air and Lupin accompanies her outside. But midway through, Lupin is gone and so is everyone else on the streets.
A quiet rain falls and Cardia finds herself unable to move. An elderly woman sitting on an automated wheelchair appears before her, and apologises for the abruptness. She had wanted to speak to Cardia only, and to explain things simply she’d used some “magic”. She introduces herself as Omnibus, the leader of Idea. She ordered Saint to kill her, as Cardia had expected. Omnibus explains that Cardia’s existence is unfit for those goals, which is to watch over the world and interfere so that it doesn’t make mistakes in history. Since its birth, Idea has been guiding mankind towards the correct flow of fate. Once, humans committed a forbidden act and was chased out of Eden and became a cursed existence. In other words, the whole of mankind carries the burden of this original sin. So mankind’s history has to atone for it, till they are forgiven by god and receive salvation.
Saint is one of her disciples, and has been living for thousands of years. Or rather, he has been dead since a long time ago and his soul was transferred to his current body. His current mission was to solve the problem related to Isaac and his creations, for Isaac had breached the territory of god. So they killed him, to avoid the destruction that was awaiting. They had just done so recently, thanks to Cardia and Saint. That day they first visited the underground lab, Saint chanced upon Isaac’s secret and thanks to that he was able to truly kill Finis, and get rid of Isaac. So Cardia is next. Omnibus adds that Saint purposely gathered all those with destinies linked to Isaac – Lupin, Van, Fran, Impey. And using their talents, he managed to achieve his goal. But he’s one step away. Cardia realises that all along, they had been in the palm of Idea’s hand. Omnibus states that Cardia is the seed of forbidden knowledge, so they have to kill her before she becomes a real monster.
Naturally, Cardia can’t quietly accept this and says that it was only recently that she desired to live on. The elderly woman points out that she isn’t alive to begin with, not even the genius Isaac could create a soul or heart for her. Cardia is only acting as if she has them, like a doll. So she has no need to fear death. Her words eat up Cardia from inside, as that thought has been haunting her since she unveiled the truth of her identity in the lab.
Out of the blue, Omnibus switches the topic to Saint. She says that he once committed a sin by betraying her orders. He was ordered to kill all the people in a town, and he did so but left one child alive. Those people were all infected with the black plague, and due to his mistake in the end 85,000,000 people died. Ever since then, he deeply regretted it and his sin has been constantly burning inside his heart. And so he always carried out her orders perfectly, which is why she’s surprised this time that he’s hesitating on killing Cardia. She declares that if Saint makes the same mistake, she’d have to take away his immortality and leave him to die.
Omnibus says that if she wants to save Saint, Cardia will have to die. She leaves to choice to Cardia, but even if Saint dies another disciple will come for her. She gives Cardia a key, and tells her to come to the Tower Bridge at midnight tomorrow if she agrees to die at Saint’s hands. Only chosen ones can enter the special realm, which is why she gave Cardia the key. But Omnibus asks for her not to tell anyone else of this. She’s well-aware that Cardia loves Saint, and remarks that it’s a happy thing to die for the one you love. She doesn’t have that, and is slightly envious of her. Eventually, Omnibus disappears from her sight and Cardia is back on the bustling London streets. As Lupin worriedly calls out to her, Cardia can only cry – though she isn’t sure if she’s crying for herself or for Saint’s sake.
Chapter 12: Time For Decision
Ever since meeting Omnibus, Cardia remained in her room for the whole day. She can’t help but question “what if she wasn’t born with this body”. They could have been together then. But at the same time she would’ve never met Saint. Strangely, she doesn’t blame him. In fact, he must have been tortured by the sin he committed for years. She can’t ease his pain, and only comes to the conclusion of the one thing she can do for him. While feeling sorry to Lupin and the rest, Omnibus would see through everything she does so Cardia leaves for Tower Bridge alone.
Meanwhile, Saint gazes down at London as if trying to search for an answer. Omnibus has already told him to kill the girl, lest a greater disaster occurs. For thousand of years, he has obeyed orders and killed countless people. And in return saved even more. Yet why was it that he saved Cardia back then in the lab. It certainly counts as a betrayal no matter what he says. To be honest, he doesn’t mind dying. To him it would be salvation. But he attempts to sweep away his hesitation, as he reminds himself not to repeat the same mistake. If he had killed that child, he wouldn’t be burnt with guilt now.
He looks up at the sky, which has remained unchanging since then. Hundreds of years ago, Idea sent him to a village disguised as a travelling doctor. Omnibus foresaw that a disease would spread from it and cause countless deaths around the world. Saint was to discover the root of it and handle it. While investigating, he met a small 7, 8 year old sickly child in a dark alley begging for food. No one lent a helping hand, except Saint. His motive was to display his skills as a doctor, and to gather information. It was only later on that he learnt that there was witch hunting before he came, and the child’s mother was branded as one. The widow was tortured till her death, and the boy was shunned as a witch’s child.
Soon, the boy grew healthy again and he started to follow Saint wherever he went. While it was slightly bothersome, Saint saw him as a walking proof of his skills. After a month, he started to gain more patients and the boy started to help him out. Saint did his best not to pay any mind – for surely the boy would die once signs of the plague is spotted. One night after returning from his routine report, he came across the child. He was breathing heavily in his sleepwear, not even wearing his shoes. He doesn’t answer any questions, so Saint starting walking back.
The boy then grabbed his sleeve and quietly pleaded for Saint not to leave him behind and promised to be useful. And so Saint finally realised the reason behind the boy’s actions. After all, there was no one else in this village who cares for him. As the boy begged again and teared up, Saint took his hand and led him back, adding that he isn’t leaving the village. The child whispered that they’ll always be together, to which the older man agreed. It was the first time Saint saw his smile, and Saint started to think that it would be nice if he never saw the signs of the plague.
As the days passed by, they grew closer – but it was also a failure on his part. On that fateful day, there were already numerous victims of the black plague. It was possible that the whole village was already infected. Once someone left the village for help, it would be over. And so Saint immediately fulfilled his mission. He poisoned the wells with slow-acting poison, and most of the villagers never woke up again the next night. After which, he went to finish off the rest. It was the same as always – except for one factor. He hadn’t killed the boy yet, he didn’t even poison his drinking water. Saint gave himself the excuse that he would be the last victim, perhaps he even wished for the boy to escape. But that wasn’t to be, and Saint could only question why. Despite shivering at the sight of Saint’s blood-stained figure, the boy continuously pleaded to not be left alone. If the child had been frightened and resisted, he might have killed him. But instead, he kept crying while taking Saint’s hand which held a bloodied sword.
And so Saint didn’t kill him and ran away. As a result, death plagued the world. Saint witnessed the tragedy he created with his own eyes. That fact was carved inside of him, so that he’ll never forget his naivety, his sin. Despite the fact that the number of people saved are far more than those he killed, it’s still a sin. And the sins have piled up inside of him, till he’s no longer free. For his duty, he often wore a smile to avoid drawing anyone’s suspicion. Eventually that smile became plastered on his face, and he no longer knows his true expression. Ever since that night, Saint wondered if he would have killed the boy if he could turn back time. But he never came to an answer. He has to do so tonight though. He had many chances to kill Cardia, but he never took them. A warm feeling he had long forgotten burns inside of him now. This is surely Omnibus’ trial for him, to see if he can cut away his hesitations and kill her.
The time draws near, and Saint heads to Tower Bridge while praying that Cardia doesn’t come. Of course, it was not to be. Just like when she met Omnibus, the crowd starts to disappear and it’s only her and Saint. Despite praying otherwise, Saint can’t help but feel happy to see Cardia. She feels the same way, and eventually he smiles sadly at her. He had numerous chances to kill her, but he didn’t. Saint questions why she came, when she could’ve run away. Cardia replies that he would die otherwise. He expresses his mixed feelings – should he raise his blade against her or not? When asked if she knows the answer, Cardia takes a deep breath and forces a smile.
Cardia: ……”kill” me? What are you saying, Saint? I was “never alive” to begin with. You’re not “killing”. So there’s no need for you to hesitate, to be in pain. You’re not killing a person, you’re merely breaking a doll. —It won’t become your sin.
Saint is taken aback, as he asks why she can smile when death is hanging in her face. In response, Cardia points out that she can save Saint, and he will no longer be in pain. He then questions if she isn’t scared, and she observes anger in his eyes.
Saint: If I stab you with this dagger, you’ll never wake up again. You won’t be able to smile, cry, or feel for someone again.
Saint: That’s right……no longer able to have a cup of tea after your meal, amuse yourself in talk with me or Lupin and the rest.
Saint: No longer able to walk down the streets together, or to gaze at the changing scenery. No longer even able to smile or spend the same time with everyone……!
Cardia: Stop it……!
Cardia covers her ears, as if to block everything out. She’d wanted to disappear before him while smiling. But she fears death now, to which Saint replies that it’s only natural. At the very least, he’s afraid of killing her and of losing her. Weakened by his words, she exclaims that she is afraid of no longer seeing his smile even if she’s a monster. She wants to live with him. Slowly, Saint lowers his dagger and states that he can’t kill her. So what if she’s a doll? So what if she’s a monster? As he keeps the blade, he grabs her hand and removes the glove. Despite Cardia’s protests, he doesn’t let go. While she feels her own hand burning away her important person’s face, he caresses her hand against his cheek. He remarks that he’s a monster who once died, and is now immortal. So her poison is nothing.
Saint gazes at her sadly, and tells her to touch as much as she likes. Only he can accept her like this. They’re the same. If she isn’t alive, so is he. If she doesn’t have any value in living, so does he. He begs for her not to say such sad things anymore, for he has finally realised the truth behind his pain – he loves her. No matter what happens from now on, or how many sins he will accumulate, he wants Cardia to continue living happily. When she tries to protest, Saint presses her hand tightly. As he feels the warmth of her hand, Cardia realises that he’s crying. No one else in this world can feel the same warmth, it’s his own special privilege. The honesty of his words hit her, and his smile is unlike the ones he has shown her previously. Finally, he reluctantly lets go of her hand and the wound on his face heals itself. As he’d said, he’s a monster. When Cardia tells him not to say that, he directs the same words back at her.
Thanks to her, he has resolved his mind on fighting with fate. If he doesn’t kill her, Omnibus will surely send someone else after her. So he plans to kill her and all of her other 12 disciples. Even if they are immortal, it’s not entirely true. If one is killed over and over, whether a 100 or 1000 times or more, they will then truly die. Saint reassures her, and plans to bid her farewell till he defeats everyone. But Cardia is aware that Omnibus will no longer grant him immortality once he betrays her. Saint agrees, but even for a while he’d still be able to regenerate. And then he’d eventually collapse and die. Desperate to stop him, Cardia says that they should call for Lupin and the rest. But he refuses, not wanting to involve them in this killing business. After all, they’re his important friends. Moreover, they can’t regenerate like him. The only one who can oppose is himself.
Till the moment he dies, Saint plans on using every second of it to save her. Finally, he has someone important to him he can use his time for. While Cardia insists on the both of them gaining happiness, Saint knows that it’s impossible. He’s is already glad to have met her in the thousands of years he was here. His happiness is for her to live happily, and for that he’s willing to sacrifice himself a dozen times. He no longer wears a mask. He then stabs her neck with a numbing medicine. Unable to stop him, Cardia can only cry. Before he leaves, Saint remarks that for the first time in a long while he finally feels like he’s living. And it’s all thanks to her. After gently stroking her head, he says goodbye to her and she can only watch him disappear.
Elsewhere, Omnibus has called Guinevere over. 2 of the disciples have already been killed. It appears that Saint really intends on opposing Idea. She has already removed his immortality, so he shouldn’t have long left. While it is foolish, Omnibus remarks that he’s fighting for himself and his loved one for the first time. It drives one very far, and he could drive even her strongest disciple, Guinevere, into a corner. But the lady knows very well the strength that comes from fighting for your loved one, and the tragedy that follows. And that there’s no greater misfortune than to love someone you shouldn’t. As ordered by Omnibus, she vows to right Saint’s mistake.
Chapter 13: Promise
Guinevere recalls her sin of not loving the one she should, and of loving the one she shouldn’t. She was the queen of King Arthur, who was a ideal king. And she was expected to be the ideal queen. But looking back, she didn’t feel love for him but rather respect and admiration for the perfect and upright king. So she foolishly fell for one Knight of the Round Table, Sir Lancelot. And unfortunately, so did he. Their affair caused a wedge in the Round Table, and the eventual downfall of the country. Amidst the war, King Arthur died and Lancelot was chased by many.
In a way, she was similar to Saint in that they didn’t do what was expected of them and caused a tragedy. So perhaps it was fate that after she threw herself off the cliff in despair of her sins, he appeared before her. Saint offered to save her, for Omnibus has chosen her to be part of Idea. Guinevere had no interest in immortality, for there’s no meaning living in this world anymore. Nodding at this, Saint then offered to grant her wish in exchange of her undertaking the duty of guiding human history towards the correct path eternally. Hearing this, she asked for the salvation of the knight who lost his honour due to her. And that was how she came to serve Idea. Ironically, she was given a cursed weapon in a shape of a knight’s armour to draw out her power. But she believes that guiding human history towards the correct path is indeed atonement for having strayed off the correct path.
There is no point reminiscing on the past, for what’s lost is lost. But she wonders why she hesitated when Cardia protected Saint back then. Even if the girl has committed no crime, she’s the key that will draw out the disaster. Guinevere waits for Saint to appear, who has already killed 4 disciples. He points out that they were dead to begin with, and she agrees that it is ironic for them to be guiding the history of those still alive. While Guinevere attempts to dissuade him, Saint is intent on succeeding. The only thing that has changed is that he’s fighting for Cardia’s future, and not the world’s. She remarks on the misfortune on loving one you shouldn’t, he rebutts that it’s not for her to decide on who to love. She chuckles at his words, as she envies how much he has changed. And so starts what would be a long battle.
Going back to Cardia, she could only move again when dawn arrived. Despite knowing that he’s no longer there, she couldn’t help but desperately search the streets. Though he mentioned that his happiness is for her to smile, she can’t possibly smile if he’s no longer there. She soon returns to the mansion, and notes that everyone was worried, albeit angry, about her disappearance. Cardia eventually discloses everything that happened to them, and Van asks for her opinion on what she wants to do first. She replies that though Saint could possibly end everything on his own, he will certainly die. So she proposes to directly negotiate with Omnibus. But she knows she can’t do it alone, and asks for their help.
While everyone else is willing, Lupin rejects to help someone who doesn’t trust her friends. Despite her reasons, there could have been other ways out if she had discussed with them first. Saint is just as important to them. Realising the truth in his word, Cardia apologises and promises not to do it again. It’s not just her, everyone else is worried about Saint too. In return, Lupin laughs lightheartedly and says that the biggest culprit is Saint so he’ll give the man a good beating later on. In any case, they need to search for Omnibus’ location. Lupin tells her to rest while they do so, and to think of how she’s going to save Saint.
Later, Dela comes to find Cardia. He heard about it all, and says that he’d like to help but needs to do something else. There’s rumours of remaining vampires in the northern part of England. He wants to confirm if it’s true, and promises to return when he’s done. He still has to settle things with Van after all. Before he leaves the room, Dela tells her to come to him if she is ever in despair with this world. He promises to take responsibility to protect her then. Left alone, Cardia recalls the honest Saint crying before her. She’s sure that he’d been crying behind his smile ever since the tragedy he’d caused. She vows to save him, and starts to think of how to approach Omnibus while the rest gather information.
She eventually thinks of one trump card, and goes to find Fran for the red pendant. Despite his warnings that it’ll theoretically cause her horologium to become the philosopher’s stone, Cardia asks for it. It is dangerous, but she’s sure that it will save Saint, who is risking his life for her even at this moment. This time, it’s her turn. Fran eventually agrees, but asks for some time to make a case for it first. At the same time, Lupin returns to the mansion after having disappeared for some days. Apparently he went back to Cardia’s house in Wales in search for clues. As expected, he found a memo related to Idea. It took some time to decode, but they finally find out that Idea’s base is in a cloud forest in the west of England.
Cardia shares her plan with everyone, and convinces them to support her though they’re rather reluctant. They quickly board the next train, and Cardia sits next to Lupin. She thanks him for abducting her back then. After a short silence, Lupin offers to let her escape again if she’s afraid. If things go wrong, she may never get to feel another person’s warmth. But she replies that Saint has already taught her that warmth, and so she’s no longer afraid. When they reach the forest, mist fills the space. Eventually, Cardia finds herself alone as a glowing butterfly leads her elsewhere. Without much choice, she marks her current spot and follows it towards a cottage. A large dog nudges her towards the terrace, where Omnibus waits for her.
There, she learns that Saint has been battling Guinevere for days. However it’s coming to an end, as Saint doesn’t have much time left. Cardia immediately asks her to save him. Omnibus remarks that she too has to die, in order for the right path of history. Cardia corrects her, saying that it’s the history which she thinks is correct. But the elderly woman sighs, as she recalls how she at the forbidden fruit and gained god’s wisdom. As a result, she could foresee the future of mankind. She couldn’t bear to just leave things like that, and created Idea to guide humans till salvation arrives. Cardia is part of Isaac’s larger plan, which they have yet to stop. But her existence alone is forbidden. While it is up to her to resist, Omnibus reminds her of the tragedy Saint caused when he betrayed her orders. This time, her close friends could die too.
As Cardia goes weak in the knees, she recalls the time when she felt Saint’s warmth with her hand, and his tearful plea. She stands up again, and insists that she’ll disprove Omnibus’ prediction. She’ll do anything to save Saint. Cardia takes out the pendant from the case, and demands for her to let Saint live if she doesn’t her to truly become a monster. When Omnibus doubts her words, knowing that she’s afraid of becoming a monster, Cardia brings the pendant close to her. Her chest starts to feel warm and the elderly woman is taken aback. Cardia agrees to break the horologium herself if she saves Saint. When asked why she’d go to this extent, she recalls how she’d always thought she would never touch anyone. But Saint accepted her, and even told her that her hand was warm. Just that alone is enough.
When she’s near her limit, Omnibus finally agrees but adds one condition – to defeat Guinevere. She foresees that they won’t win, but tells Cardia to prove that she is wrong. Here, Cardia can choose whether to accept the condition as it is, or not. The former leads to the true end, the latter leads to the normal end. In any case, she is left with no choice but to accept if she wants to save Saint. It’s the first time she’s made such a compromise, and Omnibus personally hopes for Cardia to prove what she said, as it would be salvation for her too. The elderly woman gradually disappears from sight and arranges for her to meet Saint. Meanwhile, Saint escapes to the Tower Bridge. Though he’s near his end, Guinevere should be too. He struggles to hang in there, but his vision blurs and he slides to the ground. He finds it ironic that this is his last destination, where he felt Cardia’s warmth and regained his true expression, and where he said goodbye to her. Just like back then, he ended up not saving anyone, and can only remain in pain.
But Cardia appears in sight, as she remarks that he’s saved her many times. She’s thankful that he’s still alive, and embraces Saint in her arms. At first he thought she was just his illusion, till he feels her touch. By right, he should be reproaching her for coming here. But he can’t help but feel happy to the point of tears. He’d wanted to see her again. Cardia agrees that she should be angry at him for leaving her there, but she feels happy instead too. Once more, they confess their love to each other. Afterwards, Cardia tells him about her negotiation with Omnibus, leaving out the part where she has to kill herself in return. Driven by her words, Saint finds one more reason to defeat Guinevere – for the two of them to live on. When Saint is near his limit, Cardia steps up before him as she removes her glove. However, Guinevere overpowers her and goes to finish Saint off. Cardia instinctively reaches for her sword, and to everyone’s surprise it melts. It appears that her poison grew stronger after bringing the pendant close to it.
Seeing this, Saint refuses to remain hiding behind Cardia and stands up again. Guinevere questions why he’s protecting her, and he simply answers that it’s because he loves her. He’s no longer Idea’s disciple, but a man protecting Cardia. In return, he asks for her reason for killing her. As expected, Guinevere answers that it’s her duty as part of Idea. Saint wonders about this, for she once wished for the salvation for the man she loved precisely because he sinned. Yet here she is killing someone who has no sin. The two of them then cross blades for the last time
Both of them end up collapsing, and Cardia sees that Saint can no longer be saved. However, he smiles at her, asking her to smile for him. As she holds back her tears, she struggles to smile. He’s satisfied with his favourite smile of hers, and those end up being his last words. She ends up breaking down, for there’s no meaning if he isn’t alive. As she hugs him, Cardia cries for hours. Omnibus shows up before her, as she sadly observes that her prediction was wrong – it ended in a draw. Cardia then asks if she can go to the same place as Saint when she dies, even if she’s a monster. After a short silence, Omnibus says yes. Even if it’s a lie, her words comfort Cardia. Omnibus then invites her to join Idea. She lost many disciples, and Cardia is capable of becoming a disciple. And when the time comes, she will take her life. At first, Cardia wanted to reject. But Saint’s last words continued to ring in her head, and she eventually promises not to make him sad. She agrees, but asks for some time alone first. Omnibus nods, and says some words to the fallen Guinevere before leaving. Though it’s impossible now, Cardia will try to live till the day she can truly smile from the bottom of her heart.
Some time later, Cardia gazes down on London. It’s been years since she came here, and wonders if everyone has gone on their own paths. In the end, she never saw them again, and she couldn’t contact them again due to her duty. It would probably be better if they thought of her as dead. Now, she’s supporting the other disciples in their missions and ironically what Lupin and the rest taught her have come in handy. Currently, she’s teamed up with Guinevere to destroy a group of scientists and their research. There’s still a lot she isn’t used to, and she has to obey Omnibus’ orders. But if she comes across someone outside the correct flow of history, Cardia wants to save that person. After all, Saint risked his life to prove that Omnibus’ words aren’t always true. As she walks through the streets, memories of everyone pour into her mind. Cardia wipes away a single tear, and gazes up at the unchanging night sky. When everything’s over, she’d like for Saint to welcome her with a smile as she reports that her life which he saved wasn’t gone to waste.
After a long silence, Saint eventually stands up. Remaining on the ground, Guinevere commends on them as she look at them with nostalgia. Wanting to finish her off as per Omnibus’ condition, Saint steps forward. Cardia holds him back though, as she reveals to him that the other condition was to destroy the horologium. She starts to feel fear, now that the future she’d wished for is within her grasp. He gazes at her sadly, to which she replies that she’s happy enough to know that he’s alive. After all, he risked his life for her so many times. Saint is unable to accept this, but just then Omnibus appears with the other disicples to see her promise through. Despite Saint’s desperate protests, Omnibus remarks that his opinion doesn’t matter here. The other disciples hold him down, and Cardia sees that he no longer possesses the elegance from when they first met. His desperation removes her fear, as she thanks him. She’s happy to know that his love for her has formed her “heart”. She can now proudly declare that she isn’t a monster or a doll, but a human who has loved.
Omnibus returns immortality to Saint, and passes a dagger to Cardia. As she points the dagger towards the horologium, she says farewell to Saint one last time. But he stops her in time, grabbing the dagger with his bare hands. He no longer knows what is right – the way to atone for his sins, where justice lies, where he lies. But he does know that he doesn’t want to lose Cardia no matter what. Saint falls to his knees, and begs for Omnibus to give them time. He swears to find a way for Cardia to live without the horologium, and she can destroy it then. He finally found his meaning for living, and he pleads for Omnibus not to snatch her away. It’s the first time Cardia has seen Saint act so desperately, and she feels incredibly blessed.
Guinevere pleads for them too. Cardia was the one to disprove Omnibus’ prediction, so she should have the right. Eventually, Cardia voices her wish to live together with Saint, and Omnibus agrees. She tells them to find a solution with all of their might, but she will come after them if she realises that it’s impossible. For now, she’ll continue to watch over this world. After she disappears, Cardia thanks Guinevere. The latter remarks that she merely spoke the truth, and adds that like Omnibus, she would feel saved if they are happy. Left alone, Cardia quickly recovers her glove as the sun rises on them after a long night. As they lean on each other, Saint smiles brightly, and says that he wants to continue living together with her.
Half a year later, Omnibus is seen in her garden. Some days ago, Guinevere came to see her and asked why she let the couple live. The elderly woman replied that she recalled a distant past when a woman loved a man. Due to her, he was punished by god and chased out of Eden. Yet he continued to love the woman who had sinned. Seeing those two, made her recall her own love. She’s sure that Guinevere felt the same way. Omnibus also knows better than anyone, that no matter how much mankind struggles, salvation will never come. So seeing her prediction not come true is a happy thing for her instead. This place has been unchanged for years, but now the owner’s heart has changed slightly.
Elsewhere, the couple is in the middle of travelling. In order to find a solution, they’re gathering information on alchemy all over the world. Initially, everyone else was worried about this idea. Saint had to apologise while Cardia explained as much as she could, before they were convinced. Lupin and Impey have gone to Wales to find something, while Fran has opened up a clinic. As for Van and Dela, they somehow came to the conclusion of gathering the remaining vampires. The next time they’d see everyone else would be 2 months later. Hearing this, Saint playfully asks if she doesn’t enjoy travelling with him. He tells her that at times like this, he can’t help but strongly feel the urge to lock her away by his side again. Cardia replies that there’s no need though, for she’s already his and vice versa.
Desiring proof of this, Saint gently pecks her on the lips. Seeing her shocked reaction, he asks if it wasn’t enough. After all, the only one who can do this is him. He honestly remarks that he really wants to kiss her more. But before he can continue, Cardia demands that they remove her poison first. With a disappointed look, Saint agrees to leave the real kiss for that day. He looks up at the sky with her, and says that he always thought it remained unchanging. But he was wrong. Nothing is unchanging in this world. Even the sky and stars are gradually changing. But if he were to mention an exception, it would be that his love for her will never change. Cardia thinks to herself that when that day comes, she’ll kiss him even more than the number of times he looked up at this sky when he was all alone.
Extra scene: This happened some time after Cardia first came to the mansion. She goes to call Saint as the meal is ready, but more than that she’s curious to know what new collection he’s so wrapped up in. She walks in the room to find him trying on a strange-looking garment. Saint explains that this is a kimono, but he has no idea how to wear it. Cardia attempts to help him, and asks him to remove it first. Just at that moment, Impey comes to find them and stumbles upon this scene. Misunderstanding in every other possible way, he flees from Saint’s invitation to join them and Cardia is left at a loss.
Wow, I really misunderstood you Saint. In any case, I’m happy to enjoy a route I didn’t expect to enjoy. I am so weak to scenes with desperation so I loved every minute of it. Knowing his true identity makes me a bit sad to see him in other routes, as you know what must have happened to him. It’s one of those painful realisations that the guy won’t truly be happy in other routes besides his own – because Cardia makes a difference. Seeing the end though, gives me hope for the possibility of a fandisk.
Anyway, it’s late at night and I’m not thinking straight. So I don’t know if what I said made sense. Hope everyone enjoys reading too and till next post aka Van’s!