Episode 02: Crossbreed
"Pedigree" is the 2st chapter of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, volume 1. It's divided into eight parts and contains two illustrations. The chapter is labeled as Episode 02 in the story line.
Part of an old agreement with the Black Biblioprincess, the new head of the Hurston family needs to receive a Phantom Book as inheritance. Hugh and Dalian must show him The Pedigree of All Creations. However, their work won't be so easy, since the family is involved in a macabre murder rumored to be committed by a huge beast.
A housekeeper leaves her bed to check the main wing of the mansion. She notices the stench of blood mixed with the smell of an animal. She suspects the stray cats have eaten her lady’s parrots again. The landlord is seen collapsed on the floor, next to a shattered window. His body is disfigured, his clothes raked by claws, his expression frozen in shock. The housekeeper also finds the bodies of her ladies in the same room. The huge beast hiding behind the corpses breaks through a window when the woman screams. It disappears in the darkness.
Part 1 Edit
Hugh and Dalian have lunch before an appointment. She was enjoying the all-you-can-eat buffet, licking the dishes clean. When Hugh reaches the counter to collect another serving for the girl, he learns more about the city. According to the bearded host of the ordinary and crowded pub, the place is usually calm, however an incident attracted people who were trying to hunt a monster. As witnessed by a servant, the beast murdered Leonard Ashwell, a famous lawyer considered a hero by the townsfolk. Previously, he won a lawsuit against Roy Hurston, the manager of a fertilizer factory, the only industry in town, who fired about 500 workers after acquiring a new machine. Back to the table, Hugh urges Dalian to leave. It would cause an uproar if someone discovered that they were going to the house of the unpopular Hurston family. Carried under Hugh’s arms, Dalian laments the interruption of her lunch. She was unable to add sugar to the bread they were having later.
Part 2 Edit
The building was impressive, with a well-maintained garden and an adjoining farm, although the scenery was ruined by dozens of people protesting around the property, fighting against the discharge of the factory employees. Inside the mansion, Hugh sips black tea while Dalian reads from the family bookshelf. Their wait ends when a young man appears. He’s bewildered by Black Biblioprincess’ beauty. She’s flattered, giving Hugh a triumphant glance. The latter is kicked after saying the compliment was only a courtesy. The visitors have arrived without problems, although the carriage driver was hit with rotten eggs by the raging workers across the street. Probably because of Leonard’s death, they have grown wild again since the results of the subsequent judgments were uncertain. The young man, Chez Hurston, hopes to see his brother Roy recognizing the workers’ will of protecting their lives and families. While shaking his hand, Hugh notices Chez’s palm is rough like a servant’s, although he’s the son of a rich family. Chez heard they came to see his grandfather. Dalian reveals their purpose there. They were there to hand over a Phantom Book, entrusted to them by Chez’s ancestors. Footsteps are heard and the door is violently opened.
Part 3 Edit
Chez’s arrogant brother enters the room. Roy Hurston wants the protestants away from the mansion. Chez tries a dialogue, pointing they were just seeking an employment. His brother acts as a superior being, without caring for the workers. Roy changes his attitude after learning the visitor’s identity, greeting them politely. He says he will accompany them to his grandfather’s room. However, the old man appears in a wheelchair, escorted by servants. Boyd Hurston is Dalian’s longtime acquaintance. He got old, while the girl remained unchanged. She came to grant his wish. Based on an old contract, Dalian came to deliver a Phantom Book called “The Pedigree of All Creations”, previously sealed by his ancestors. Boyd wouldn’t last long, so he had to show the book to the new head of the family. The chosen one would read it only once in his entire life. Chez worries about his grandfather’s health as the old man coughs blood. Boyd will perform the inheritance before midnight.
Part 4 Edit
Hugh and Dalian spend the afternoon in the garden, away from the noisy protest. Dalian keeps reading a book while Hugh watches Chez rolling in the grass with several puppies he let out from the dog kennel of the mansion. He’s been training the hunting dogs of the family. Dalian explains the Hurston family originally earned its fortune from raising dogs. Chez approaches them, followed by the puppies. Hugh grabs one of them. Dalian tries to hide her fear, holding her book like a shield and pretending to be interested in a rose bed. When Hugh puts the puppy down, the animal runs after her. The dog ends up on Dalian when she stumbles, frozen in fear. Chez eventually intervenes and apologizes. Hugh cannot hold his laugh.
Roy appears soon after Chez takes the puppies for a walk. Roy criticizes how his brother still play with dogs. The former doesn’t raise the animals with affection. According to him, lineage was the difference between superior and inferior dogs. As it happens with humans, superior skills are born from the breeding between superior individuals. For instance, Boyd have paired men and women of superior lineage and then raised Roy and Chez to improve the Hurston family. The brothers have no blood relation with their so-called grandfather. Roy sees himself as a descendant with excellent characteristics. Chez, on the other hand, was a failure. After all, even the best breeders make mistakes. Glancing at Dalian, he reveals The Pedigree of All Creations can figure out the best pair to produce superior crossbreeds. The Hurston family succeeded in breeding thanks to the Phantom Book. The arrogant man believes he will inherit it. He leaves to speak with the policemen that are investigating the mansion. The family is suspected to be involved in the Ashwell massacre. He says the lawyer was bitten to death. Roy couldn’t believe the rumors about the giant beast.
Hugh watches Dalian as she examines a flower bed of blue roses. There was no technology and knowledge to produce such flowers in the current age. Blue pigment doesn’t exist in roses. Only the owner of The Pedigree of All Creations is able of modifying its genes to attain such color. They discuss about the involvement of the Hurston family in Leonard’s death. Boyd was the only reader of The Pedigree of All Creations alive, and with its powers he could create a giant hunting dog. Chez could have trained the Beast of Ashwell, but he has no motive to kill the lawyer. Roy was too busy to do that. Furthermore, it seemed impossible to tame and hide such a beast. Dalian decides to postpone the conversation when two puppies joyfully jump towards her. She struggles as the small dogs play with her.
Part 5 Edit
Late at night, Hugh and Dalian are guided to Boyd’s workroom. Dalian is carrying The Pedigree of All Creations. Boyd asks Hugh to open a thick metallic door, revealing a chamber resembling a laboratory, filled with chemicals and experimental utensils. It’s a room for secret ceremonies, the place where Roy and Chez were born. Roy examines the underground while Chez carries Boyd and his wheelchair down the stairs. As explained by the old man, the Hurston family has been providing combat dogs to the Kingdom for more than 60 years. Eventually, the chamberlain of the Royal Family consulted Boyd when the Queen start to grieve for the loss of countless soldiers during a foolish war. When Boyd learned about The Pedigree of All Creations, he used its knowledge to build the laboratory and produce humans with superior abilities, including Roy and Chez’s parents, who were raised to become splendid adults by people who lost their children in the war. Boyd examined the genes of this first generation of artificial humans to create the perfect soldier.
Roy shivers with emotion, seeing himself as an improved kind of species. However, his grandfather points Chez as the head of the family, as someone with superior characteristics. Shocked, Roy falls back, getting buried in bottles and test tubes. He was only a slightly clever human, a failure. Chez, however, should spread his genes over the entire country, sharing the special ability he was trying to hide desperately. The young man cannot accept the burden of using the Phantom Book to play with life and death. His only wish is taking care of the dogs. Roy could look for the factory and the mansion. Watching the argument without words, Hugh notices a faint light coming from The Pedigree of All Creations held by Dalian. He suddenly pulls Dalian to the ground. Roy throws an oil lamp to the ground. He’s holding a gun. The man cannot accept being born as a failure work, and Chez’s sympathy was only angering him further. He shots Boyd, who collapses forward on his wheelchair. His next target is Dalian. Hugh stands in front of her, drawing his revolver. Standing between them, Chez is shot twice by Roy. Hugh shoots Roy’s wrist, making him drop his gun. Hugh points his gun, urging Roy to stop moving. Although Boyd was already dead, Chez could make it if treated. However, a blast rushes towards them when the flames from the oil lamp reached the chemicals stored in the room.
Part 6 Edit
Hugh soon gains consciousness with Dalian rudely but desperately slapping his cheeks. He grabs her arms to stop her and checks the underground room. The place was partially destroyed by the sudden explosion, the old man’s body squashed by debris and Roy nowhere to be seen. Hugh instinctively grabs his gun. The Beast of Ashwell was standing in the dark. Dalian tells him not to shoot. The monster, in fact a transformed Chez Hurston, was trying to save them, supporting the collapsed ceiling. His appearance is the result of the crossbreeding performed by Boyd with the knowledge from The Pedigree of All Creations. With a shot wound, Chez couldn’t endure the effort for very long. Hugh cannot find a gap to slip through. Roy pours gasoline over the room. He prepares to set the place on fire. The man throws a lighter at the same time that Hugh opens the Labyrinth Library on Dalian’s chest.
Part 7 Edit
Blue rose petals dance in the light of the crimson moon. Roy laughs while looking down the burned laboratory until Hugh, Dalian and the Beast of Ashwell appear behind him. Hugh have used a Phantom Book to open a gate to another world. Dalian exposes Roy as Leonard’s murderer. After all, he said the victim was bitten to death even after affirming the Beast of Ashwell was nothing more than a rumor. He had trained combat dogs to kill the Ashwell family. Chez was only trying to stop him. Roy admits his crimes, showing a large knife. With a monstrous agility, Chez lands in front of Roy. Chez is unable to stop his brother from killing himself. The policemen start shooting the beast, who recovers Roy’s body. He runs away to protect Roy’s honor and take all the blame for Leonard and Boyd’s death. Dalian tells him to take The Pedigree of All Creations. With its knowledge, it should be possible to return his body to normal. However, he shakes his head and climbs the wall of the mansion, disappearing into the darkness. She drops the Phantom Book while the blue petals are burned in the flames.
Part 8 Edit
The next morning, Hugh and Dalian took a train to the capital. The girl was in a bad mood, unenthusiastically reading a book and eating her bread. Checking a newspaper, Hugh affirms Chez’s body was still missing. The beast was chased by policemen and hunters, ultimately falling from a cliff after being shot countless times. The article praised Roy’s achievements and qualities. Chez was briefly mentioned. Dalian criticizes him for refusing The Pedigree of All Creations when she offered it. Hugh suggests he was trying to protect her. The young man didn’t want to drag her into the confrontation. His opinion offends her. While she’s eating his share of bread, he takes out a small flower bud to decorate a vase nearby. It was the only blue rose left. Hugh tells Dalian not to worry. If Chez is alive, he would eventually meet them again and accept the Phantom Book.
- Part 6 is used as introduction for the manga and its first chapter which mainly adapts the Book of Soul Exchange story.
- Boyd comments about how he started to work on crossbreeding humans after the former Queen grieved for the losses of a foolish war. He might be referring to the Crimean War, a military conflict fought from 1853 to 1856 during the reign of Queen Victoria. As described by the old man, the Kingdom had the French and the Ottoman Empire as allies to oppose the Russian Empire. It was indeed considered a foolish war, resulting in twenty-five thousand British casualties.
- Pedigree are registers listing ancestors and inherited phenotype of a living being, used in study of human family lines and selective breeding of animals.
- The chapter hints about how Dalian is much older than she looks, since Boyd affirms she kept unchanged since he was appointed as the head of the family, many years ago.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 1.
- ↑ Crimean War. (2017, March 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:49, March 4, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Crimean_War&oldid=768554649
- ↑ Naiter Mohan Chopra. Religions and Followers. Xlibris Corporation, August 13, 2016.
- ↑ Breed registry. (2017, March 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:46, March 22, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Breed_registry&oldid=770755078