|The Magician's Daughter|
Episode 11: La traviata
Majutsu-shi no Musume
"The Magician's Daughter" is the 4th chapter of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, volume 3. It's divided into eight parts and contains two illustrations. The chapter is labeled as Episode 11 in the story line.
Dalian wishes to meet Viola Duplessis, a popular courtesan who is requesting five Phantom Books from her suitors. Armand Jeremiah, an acquaintance of Hugh during the war, is one of the men looking forward to have the hand of the beautiful woman.
Glass tubes filled with liquid are seen inside the dark room of an old castle. The faint light comes from a few lamps. The place smells chemicals. A beautiful girl lying on a bed is under the moonlight, which is falling from a small opening. Hidden in the darkness, an old man calls for her daughter. He affirms that men would be attracted by her beauty. Laughing, the large man asks the girl to not disappoint him during the experiment he would perform.
Part 1 Edit
A young man keeps knocking the thick oak door of an old mansion. Hugh opens the door and sees his old acquaintance, Armand Jeremiah. The latter sees a small girl behind Hugh, hidden like a small animal and groaning menacingly, as if she would bite if someone approached her. Hugh calls her Dalian. Armand reflects about their relation. Dalian was too big to be Hugh’s daughter, neither resembled him to be his sister. Armand ends up misunderstanding them for lovers. He’s surprised by the age disparity. After Dalian bad-mouths him, Hugh properly introduces them to each other. Hugh was Armand’s superior during the war, both working in the same base. Armand calls him Lieutenant, but remembers he never liked to be called by that title. Armand eventually reveals his purpose at the Disward estate. Knowing about the vast collection of Hugh’s grandfather, Armand is looking for a Phantom Book called “Book of the Salamander's Seal”. Hugh and Dalian have a strange reaction. After all, Armand was the fifth man to ask their help.
Part 2 Edit
They have tea in the living room of the mansion. Hugh affirms Lord Moskin had just requested The Aggregate of Burning Golden Beads. Armand is surprised after learning he is not the first to visit Hugh and Dalian this week. Sons of nobles and wealthy businessmen have come to request different Phantom Books from them. Dalian wonders if Hugh formed an alliance of men with thin hair. Armand questions if they have given any books to their visitors. However, the men have asked for lost Phantom Books, rare items particularly difficult to obtain, something that not even Wesley could collect. Ordinary people couldn’t own such a book. Armand feels relieved. Embarrassed, he reveals to be in love with a woman as beautiful as Dalian, who is arguably owner of an extraordinary and mysterious look. The silly smile Armand shows while describing the courtesan Viola Duplessis disgusts Hugh and Dalian. Rumors say that even royalties have disguised themselves to enjoy her presence. Powerful men already tried to marry. With the financial strength of the Jeremiah family, Armand also asked for her hand. However, Viola would not choose anyone, unless the person could provide the five Phantom Books she requests. When Armand reveals its titles, Dalian breathes heavily, as if reflecting about names that are familiar to her. She finally gives Armand permission to look for the Book of the Salamander's Seal among the collection of thousands of books in the basement of the mansion. In exchange, Dalian wishes to meet Viola.
Part 3 Edit
Days later, Hugh is walking in a dirty part of the town. Dalian would hide behind him every time a passerby approached them. She complains how hard it was to keep up with him. Armand has even more respect for his superior, who somehow is not overwhelmed by her attitude. Armand points out it could be expensive to meet Viola. However, Dalian reveals it should be a nice experiment to Hugh, who had happily prepared for the trip. According to her, he seems interested in luxury courtesans and social nightlife. Hugh denies it, saying they have no choice if they want to investigate the person who supposedly knows too much about the Phantom Books. If they met Viola, Armand would be allowed to have the Book of the Salamander's Seal, that is, if he’s able to find it. Dalian criticizes how they were switching love for Phantom Books. Viola could only use one word to accept or refuse a proposal. Hugh suggests she enjoyed the idea of five men, or maybe she had asked for a Phantom Book impossible to obtain as a way to decline Armand. However, Dalian wonders how she knows about those titles. Dalian wants to check why Viola is demanding five Phantom Books.
Part 4 Edit
The mansion, built in a quiet residential area, didn’t look like a brothel. It was a place for nobles and their evening social gatherings. A lady wearing luxurious garments greets them. It was difficult to receive them, since the brothel was very requested. Only this hostess could know about Viola’s whereabouts. After all, the courtesan has many houses in the Kingdom, provided by her countless wealthy supporters. With an arrogant tone, Dalian questions about her location. Lowering his head, Armand interrupts Dalian and asks for Hugh’s help to control her. The hostess find the trio very interesting and ends up giving them an envelope with Viola’s address. It has a graceful handwriting and the faint smell of the perfume regularly used by the courtesan. The letter was written by Viola, who asked it to be delivered to Dalian. Before leaving, Dalian’s beauty attracts the hostess’ attention. Dalian refuses the invitation of being part of that society.
Reaching the beautiful mansion located in a park, they are received by a servant. Viola is seen crying while looking at the white moon in the balcony next to her large bedroom. Armand is frustrated and irritated because Hugh didn’t praise her. Viola is indeed a gorgeous young woman, with perfect features as if she had been precisely produced. She knows about the Black Biblioprincess and The Mystic Archives of Dantalian, but has no idea where her wisdom came from. Though she’s familiar with literature and complicated academic fields, Viola has only memories from three years ago, when she appeared in town. Her mysterious past is part of her charm. Everything she had was given by her supporters, including her beautiful clothes and luxuriously houses. Dalian asks why she was requesting five Phantom Books. At this point, Hugh runs in front of Dalian to protect her, showing a revolver on his hand. He kicks Armand, removing him from the path of a fast silver gale which makes the sound of a bird flying.
In fact, it’s a small, beautiful woman wearing a dress that exposes her back, from where sharp wings show a metallic sheen like a knife. Armand trembles when he notices he would have lost his head if Hugh hadn’t kicked him. The creature, beautiful as Viola, stares the courtesan without blinking. With an intimidating smile, she says her role will end soon. The Earl will come back to look for her in the next night of full moon. The winged woman falls towards the courtyard and disappears while flying into the dark sky with tremendous speed. Hugh had his gun pointed at her the whole time, but never pulled the trigger. He felt a normal bullet couldn’t affect her. Hugh supports Viola as she collapses. The courtesan knows nothing about the Earl, only that he’s a terrible person. She feels that five specific Phantom Books were necessary to oppose the man and stay in town. Running away was not an option, since there is someone Viola wishes to be with. Armand stands up and promises to find a Phantom Book and protect her. Hugh releases Viola and leaves the villa with Dalian. The latter tells Viola they would be back on the next full moon night.
Part 5 Edit
The house of Viola Duplessis was crowded with gentlemen and his servants and guards, important people fascinated by her beauty, including famous politicians and aristocrats of high classes. They probably heard rumors about the winged woman that came to threat the courtesan. After all, many of the men carried weapons, such as hunting guns and military rifles, creating a tense atmosphere. Sighing in relief, Armand notices the presence of Dalian and Hugh, who points out Viola’s popularity. Dalian mentions how men were controlled by women. Armand is confident, holding the Book of the Salamander's Seal against his chest. He had searched for the Phantom Book at the Disward basement for three entire days. It was difficult, but he managed to find it last night. Dalian affirms it wouldn’t be enough to protect Viola. As told in The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, five items were necessary. The narrative also confirms how men have been swayed by women’s whims for thousands of years. Armand groans in frustration. However, the four remaining suitors appear, each one with an old stone plate in hands. The five Phantom Books requested by Viola were found. It’s odd how they were able to obtain such rare exemplars. Men dazzled by love tend to spend money without paying attention, falling victims to fraudsters. Those Phantom Books were probably fakes, including the one Armand found.
Viola finally shows up. She walks downstairs, her beauty illuminating the dim room. Crying, the courtesan is grateful for their presence, but she asks everybody to run away. The men become even more motivated to protect her. The five suitors show the Phantom Books to soothe her. A voice is heard from an unexpected direction. The old man laughs, happy with Viola’s growth. He’s in an old-fashioned attire, with a monocle on his face and a strange stick on his hands. One of Viola’s guardians tries to shoot him down, but all the bullets seem to disappear into the chest of the mysterious man. The latter swings his staff and mumbles something. His attacker drops the gun and rolls over the floor in anguish while screaming wildly. His body swells and ruptures, releasing a silver liquid. It was an instant death which discouraged everyone around. The old man floats on the railings of the stairs to approach Viola. He asks for his daughter to not resist and come back with him.
Part 6 Edit
When everybody was frightened or angered, Hugh was calm, examining the body. The blood had been replaced by liquid mercury. Dalian explains the old man, Viola’s father, is not a Phantom Book user. He purposely had chosen a night of full moon to appear. The experiment was over, Viola had exceeded his expectations, and now he wanted to investigate her body. The guards payed by Viola’s supporters gather to protect her. The Earl swings his staff again in a bizarre gesture, summoning four women, each one with a different pair of wings. The creatures torn flesh with wings and claws. The survivors show no will to fight. They drop their guns and run away. According to Dalian, the old man is a real magician, someone who uses forbidden knowledge to use magical powers without relying on Phantom Books. His skills were at the highest level during a full moon night. He introduces himself as Melgar, a scholar looking forward to be released from the grasp of death. He’s honored to be in the presence of the Black Biblioprincess.
Armand walks in front of Viola. He shows the Book of the Salamander's Seal, hoping to use it to protect the woman. With a shake of his stick, Melgar envelops the book in flames. It was indeed a fake Phantom Book. The magician tells Viola how everything on her life was false. The other suitors appear to oppose him. When they are about to be killed by the winged women, Viola shows amazing speed and strength, knocking out Melgar’s fiends. Her left arm is damaged by the enemies’ claws, the skin sliced, the bones broken. In place of blood, she was dropping liquid mercury. With a high laugh, the Earl exposes Viola as an automatic doll, a homunculus born from alchemy. She’s an experimental material brought forth to test how close it can be to humans. Viola gathered important social data. However, the courtesan betrayed her creator. Questioned by Dalian, the magician affirms he would dissect his daughter to study the boundary between an object and a living being. Armand keeps protecting her. Even if everything around Viola was fake, his love for her was real. Following him, the other four suitors also stand between Melgar and his creation. The old man uses his staff to charge a powerful fireball. Hugh inserts the golden key on Dalian’s chest as soon as the magical attack is released.
Part 7 Edit
The interior of the mansion was partially destroyed, smelling burnt material. Melgar is surprised how the men were unaffected by his attack. A puzzled Armand is seen holding a book which releases a huge amount of magical power. It’s the genuine Book of the Salamander’s Seal. He was chosen by the Phantom Book. The magician orders his wounded creatures to snatch it from Armand’s hands. The winged women are hit by golden bullets. They are enveloped in flames. Melgar’s expression is distorted in rage. Sir Balboa has used The Aggregate of Burning Golden Beads to shoot the projectiles. The villain creates sharp crystals that surround the men, who have no escape. The magical blades are blocked by invisible walls summoned by The Sage's Plate. Additionally, Viola’s wound disappeared and the fallen have resurrected thanks to the Divine Encyclopedia of the Yin Kings and The Nāgārjuna’s Manuscript. Melgar has underestimated his own creation. As described by Dalian, Viola attracted those Phantom Books and now had the powers to oppose him. Smiling arrogantly, he admits defeat. The old man uses his staff to open a space rift. Stepping into it, he disappears, saying he would let Viola live freely for now. He hopes to see Dalian and her key-keeper again. She bids him farewell.
Part 8 Edit
Although the place was in ruins, everyone was alive with no fatal injuries, healed by the tremendous power of an old Phantom Book. Dalian condemns Armand for the nuisance of involving her with a magician. He is exhausted because of the toll from using a Phantom Book, his whole body heavy as if it was made of lead. Hugh receives the five Phantom Books back. Now, the items have no purpose for Armand and the others. Viola thanks them for everything. Now that she’s relieved, the courtesan looks more beautiful. Her suitors ask her to choose her favorite. Viola has decided. The tension increases as the men wait for the verdict. For a moment, Armand’s heart beats faster. He may be the one Viola has on her mind. They exchange glances. However, a stranger calls for her at the entrance of the mansion. The woman runs into the arms of the oddly-dressed man. Baron is Viola’s lover, someone she had met after requesting the five Phantom Books. Nonetheless, Armand is glad he could protect her. He sadly watches the couple leaving in a carriage. Dalian affirms a woman can be more mysterious than a Phantom Book. Hugh invites Armand to drink that night. The latter receives a tragic romance novel from Dalian, as if suggesting he had to study it. He breaks out in tears.
- La traviata is an opera by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, first performed on March, 1853. Similar to what is seen in the series, it contains the tragic love story between courtesan Violetta and young bourgeois Alfredo, originally called Armand in La Dame aux Camélias, a 1848 novel by French author Alexandre Dumas, fils on which the opera was based.
- During the brief meeting with the hostess, Dalian questions why she should lower her head at her age. It's another indication she's much older than she looks.
- Dalian mentions The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, a 10th-century Japanese narrative in which the chapter borrows many elements from.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 3.
- ↑ La Dame aux Camélias. (2017, February 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:26, March 22, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=La_Dame_aux_Cam%C3%A9lias&oldid=766813415
- ↑ La traviata. (2017, March 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:26, March 22, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=La_traviata&oldid=769838377
- ↑ The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. (2017, March 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:32, April 2, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Tale_of_the_Bamboo_Cutter&oldid=771476735