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Book of Gap
Chapter 1LN4 infobox
Chapter 1

Episode 13: The Pressed Flower

Japanese Name

間隙の書

Romanized Name

Kangeki no Sho

Volume

4

Release Date

June, 2009

Pages

61

Adaptation

Chapter 4 (manga)

"Book of Gap" is the 1st chapter of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, volume 4. It's divided into seven parts and contains two illustrations. The chapter is labeled as Episode 13 in the story line.

Hugh and Dalian visit an all-girls boarding school to search for a Phantom Book. Their job won't be easy since, as explained by a young student named Jessica Elphinstone, the serial killer Benjamin Diffring is rumored to be hiding around there after escaping from prison.[1]

SummaryEdit

The sunset gives a beautiful color to the sky and long shadows to the school garden, where a young girl finds a leather bag containing an old dictionary. She opens the book, hoping to find the name of the student who lost it. Feeling a lukewarm liquid, she notices how the palm of her hand became red. The substance of nauseating odor drips next to her feet. The book falls from her rigid hands. From its pages, a pale human arm appears. It swells like a balloon, becoming three-dimensional. Soon, the entire bloody corpse of a woman comes out of the book. The dead has white skin for the lack of blood and empty eyes that show terror. Her fatal wound is a huge gap cut from her abdomen down to her crotch. The young girl who found this ominous book screams in panic.

Part 1 Edit

The afternoon sun illuminates the three-store library made of stone walls covered in ivy. The second floor has a window which leads to an outdoor space with a beautiful countryside view. Dalian is pressing a mug against Hugh’s cheeks in order to wake him up. Both are sit on a bench, but while Dalian is having tea, Hugh is trying to rest from the long drive. Because of her attitude, Hugh has no choice but pour her more tea. She was already eating his portion of the lunch. While serving her, he notices the idyllic landscape around. They were in the grounds of a boarding school located on a hill overlooking the sea at the southern part of the kingdom. Despite the relaxing moment, Dalian complains that the local sugar isn’t sweet enough. Nevertheless, she keeps tasting the fried breads, smearing her lips. The vast library is the only thing she couldn’t badmouth. Hugh, in turn, is uncomfortable for being in an all-girls school. Roughly 400 girls from 11 to 18 years old live in its dormitory. Since extracurricular activities are traditionally popular in boarding schools, students are seen in the yard even after lectures. Many were looking at him, either curious or intimidated.

Jessica Dalian

Jessica questions Hugh and Dalian.

Suddenly, a young girl wearing school uniform shows up to interrogate the couple. Dalian hides behind Hugh, scared by the movement of her hair, which resembles the wagging of a dog tail. Holding a lacrosse stick as a weapon, the student wonders if they had a permission to visit the school. She shakes in anger due to Dalian’s insults. Hugh finally reveals that the principal, Miss Roedean, allowed them there. Jessica asks if they will investigate the recent rumors. It’s said that Benjamin Diffring, a serial killer who escaped from prison, was hiding somewhere in the school while kidnapping students and teachers. For her disappointment, Hugh says that they came to look for a book. The fact that she’s carrying a self defense weapon and walking around a floor prohibited to students means that she’s probably trying to find the criminal. Their conversation is interrupted by a scream coming from the schoolyard.

Part 2 Edit

Hugh is the first to move. He lifts Dalian up, tightening his arm around her waist, interrupting her tea. Jessica follows them to a garden not too far from the library. The scream came from a student soaked in blood. She faints, but Hugh releases Dalian to support her. Blood also covers a leather bag, a book and the body of a half-naked woman in her early thirties. Jessica recognizes Nicola, her teacher and dorm supervisor. She’s one of the two people who went missing last weekend. Dalian tells Hugh to investigate the cause of death. Her abdomen was cut open and some of her internal organs had been removed, as if the murder was part of a sacred ceremony performed with precision and careful methodology.

Jessica expresses indignation when Hugh seems unfazed about the abnormal crime. However, as a war veteran, he’s used to witness people meeting tragic fates. He observes that, considering the state of the body, the woman was killed hours ago. With all that blood, it should be impossible to carry the corpse to that spot without leaving traces, unless the murderer used the power of a Phantom Book. Jessica realizes that Hugh and Dalian’s goal is to find this Phantom Book. Hugh seemed in a bad mood, predicting that his job wouldn’t be so easy.

Part 3 Edit

The library is illuminated by and old lamp. Hugh is sit on a wooden footstool, while Dalian is examining the bookshelves. The corpse had been taken over by the police. There aren’t many police officers stationed in the small country town where the school is located, so the investigation would start only after the next day, although they were already looking for Diffring while watching the school grounds. The administration is trying to avoid a scandal that could taint the school’s reputation. Hugh wants to leave that place to find an accommodation, but Dalian uses him as a stepladder to reach a report about the serial killer. It’s a summary made by the curious students of the school.

Little is known about Diffring’s background. His real name is a mystery. It’s estimated that he is in his late twenties. He committed his first murder eight years ago. He is confirmed to have brutally killed eleven young women during six years before being arrested. A two-weeks-old newspaper informs about his escape. Hugh and Dalian speculate that the book Diffring got from prison is a Phantom Book. Dalian suggests that the murderer is hiding in the school to find new victims. Hugh reflects about that, when the sound of footsteps echoes through the dark library. They see Jessica climbing up the stairs. She wasn’t supposed to leave her dormitory.

Part 4 Edit

The tall bookshelves were blocking the moonlight. Jessica wanders around the dim library looking for Hugh and Dalian while fighting against the instinctive fear of darkness. She calls for them, in a tone that indicates her regret for sneaking out of the dormitory. A faint voice answers her. Jessica stops for a moment, surprised, then she takes her lacrosse stick from inside her long baggage and proceeds to the corridor that connects the library with the reading room. Next to a pillar, she finds another female student collapsed on the floor. Matilda Linker was the other person who went missing for several days. She’s alive, although seriously injured. Jessica rushes towards the exit to call for help, dropping her guard.

A shadow appears before her eyes. It’s a short man with a shaved head and a smile on his concealed face. Benjamin Diffring, still in his prison uniform, uses a military knife to disarm Jessica. She recognizes the foreign, old book that he carries under his left arm. Reacting to that reveal, the serial killer approaches the frightened student, pointing the knife at her eyes. He stops when a gunshot hits the stone wall next to him. Hugh shows up in front of Jessica, threatening Diffring with his revolver. Its low accuracy was a disadvantage in a close range fight. Because of that knife, Hugh needs to quickly injury his enemy. The serial killer jumps with inhuman power to swing at Hugh’s head. The tip of the knife collides with the barrel of the gun. Diffring loses balance when he is pushed back by Hugh.

Before Hugh can shoot him, the criminal jumps towards a dark corridor. While being followed, the latter opens the book he had under his left arm. Hugh and Jessica reach a dead end, only to discover that Diffring disappeared without a trace. His Phantom Book allowed him to hide in an unfavorable situation or to attack when his target is distracted. Dalian shows up, revealing that Matilda is fatally injured and that there was no time to take her to a hospital. Jessica is angered, thinking that they have already given up Matilda. However, Hugh takes the Book of the Silver Well from the Labyrinth Library to heal her wounds. Jessica has studied about The Mystic Archives of Dantalian before. When she expresses her gratitude, Dalian turns around to hide her smile.

Part 5 Edit

Jessica's legs

Dalian's comments make Jessica embarrassed.

Hugh took the asleep student to the entrance of the dormitory. When he returned, Dalian and Jessica were sit in the front of the library. The schoolgirl opened her handbag to show the sandwiches and water bottles she brought to them, explaining why she left her room. Although they came for a book, they were helping to defend the school. Dalian cannot resist tasting a cinnamon pie. Hugh explains that killing is not Diffring’s purpose. He’s looking for a mother, the body of a woman, a womb where he can get inside and be born once again. It was strange how the serial killer tried to kill Jessica, since he always hunts tall, large females. According to Dalian, only her legs were thicker than the average. Jessica protests the remark.

Hugh and Dalian asks why she was wandering around the library before they first met. It’s evident that the student was purposely putting herself in dangerous situations. Jessica reveals that she witnessed the murderer attacking Matilda. Two days ago, the latter was practicing the trumpet outside the dormitory, while Jessica was studying in the library. Jessica fell asleep and, when she woke up, she watched in the distance as Diffring pushed Matilda into a book, her body losing its thickness. Jessica was afraid, unable to believe in what she saw. However, next morning, the teachers announced that Matilda had disappeared. Dalian compassionately pats Jessica’s head, acknowledging her suffering. Ultimately, Matilda was saved thanks to her. Hugh and Dalian got a plan to catch Diffring.

Part 6 Edit

Hugh and Jessica are sit on a bench, under the shade of a large tree planted beside a small fountain and surrounded by a flower bed. Jessica’s mood is a mix of shyness and anger. She cannot understand how having tea together is a method to catch a murderer. Inside the dormitory, the other girls were discussing about their supposed date. Hugh explains that, from that spot, they could notice the serial killer approaching. Furthermore, staying away from the library is for their advantage. Dalian appears behind Jessica, pulling her hair to interrupt her questioning. Dalian had finished her job at the library. She mentions that Diffring could be easily identified in that isolated boarding school. It was a strange place for a prisoner escapee to hide. The body of those young girls had no use for the serial killer. However, the library makes that school a haven for him. Before Jessica can think about that, a teacher approaches her.

There was a note written by Miss Roedean on her desk, asking the teacher to deliver a book to Jessica. Predicting the danger, Hugh and Dalian tells the woman to drop the book. It was too late, since her arms were slashed by a blade coming out from between the pages. Jessica runs to help her, only to be stopped by Hugh. A human silhouette emerges from the book that fell on the ground. The shadow gains thickness and assumes the form of a small man holding a knife. Diffring holds the injured teacher in front of him, forcing Hugh to hold fire. He’s been using the Book of Gap to hide between the pages of books. The same power was applied to escape prison. The size of that disproportionately large school library worked to his advantage. Jessica, having witnessed such power, was being targeted by the serial killer. He had released Matilda only to make Jessica untrustworthy if she ever talked about people becoming flat and being trapped inside a book.

Diffring pushed the hostage away, picked the Phantom Book up from the ground and removed a shotgun from one of the gaps between its pages. He aimed at Jessica and pulled the trigger, showing no mercy. The student, however, is unaffected. The desperate man also tries to shoot Dalian, but it’s like an invisible wall is protecting his targets. Hugh is holding the Book of Styx to summon the barrier. Diffring ignores the weapon and runs away. Although Jessica wants to follow him, Hugh remains calm. He and Dalian already know that the criminal is heading to the library to hide himself. They could have prepared a counterattack or told the police officers to ambush him.

When Hugh opened the library, Jessica saw the empty bookshelves. The collection of over 100,000 books has vanished. At a loss, Diffring dropped the Book of Gap. His elusive power was useless now that there were no other books around. Hugh and Jessica acted as decoys to attract the serial killer, so Dalian could have the chance to seal all those books inside The Mystic Archives of Dantalian. Armed police officers pop out from behind the bookshelves to detain the criminal. Hugh picks up the Book of Gap from the floor. He affirms that it was almost the end. Jessica tilts her head in confusion.

Part 7 Edit

A window lets the bright light reach the principal’s office. Hugh and Dalian are sit on a luxurious reception sofa, talking with a beautiful blonde woman of unknown age. A teacher was lost, but she thanks them anyway for protecting the students. Principal Roedean, Hugh’s aunt, asks what he thinks of Jessica. Hugh learns that her reason calling him was not only to make him search for the Book of Gap, but also to meet the daughter of an important family for a future arranged marriage. The blonde laughs cheerfully while Dalian stares at her with a scary expression. Before they leave, the principal affirms she wouldn’t take any action, although she is unsure of what’s on Jessica’s mind.

At the library, the books were randomly stacked after being removed from The Mystic Archives of Dantalian. As ordered by the principal, Jessica must organize the huge collection by herself as punishment for leaving her room late at night. She naturally directs her anger at the couple who left the mess behind. The student bundles her hair together, mustering determination. She intends to express her dissatisfaction during the next summer break.[1]

Trivia Edit

  • When Diffring runs away to hide himself in the school library, Dalian affirms that a tree ought to be hidden in a forest.[1] The expression is a reference to The Sign of the Broken Sword, a story written by English novelist G. K. Chesterton, published in 1911.[2]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 4.
  2. Father Brown. (2017, September 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:08, October 1, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Father_Brown&oldid=802986558