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Libricide
Chapter 5LN1 infobox
Chapter 5

Extra Episode 01: Bibliocaust

Japanese Name

焚書官

Romanized Name

Funsho-kan

Volume

1

Release Date

November 1, 2008

Pages

46

Adaptation

Episode 6

"Libricide" is the 5th chapter of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, volume 1. It's divided into six parts and contains one illustration. The chapter is labeled as Extra Episode 01. It's an unique chapter for not showing the main characters Hugh and Dalian.

Flamberge and a Book Burning Officer called Hal Kamhout are looking for a girl with a lock when they arrive in an unusual town. They notice a lifeless behavior from the inhabitants of this place, which is protected by the policewoman Mabel Nash.[1]

SummaryEdit

Not even the light of the moon could brighten the ground. High in the dark sky of a cloudy night, the military biplanes of the enemy country produce a deafening sound. The buildings are destroyed by the giant bombs falling from the airplanes. The town was looking like a hell, the air filled with cries and screams of its inhabitants. A girl watches from afar the chaotic sight below. She’s desperate, stumbled in an elevation next to the town. Fire was consuming everything she loved. She notices the presence of a couple. The man tells her not to worry. After all, when something is broken, you just need to build it once again. The girl in extravagant clothes gives him a strange book. The lock she was wearing produced a cold sound. The person who was watching the bombings receives the item from the mysterious man. She looks down at the Phantom Book written specially for her. The two had already disappeared when she raised her head again.

Part 1 Edit

A sturdy man is riding a large-sized motorcycle. A beautiful girl with long silver hair is sit in the sidecar of the vehicle. They reach a small town next to a lake. A big factory could be seen on the other side of the lake, surrounded by several warehouses. The man peeks into the side streets. Rather than lost, he seems to be hunting something. Next to the high walls of the warehouses, the duo is stopped. It’s unusual to see policewomen in that region. Mabel Nash, a female police officer, had received information about a suspicious man riding a motorcycle around town. The girl in the sidecar laughs and teases the man with a sadistic voice. Mabel watches them arguing, when she notices the strange appearance of the silver-haired girl.

Flamberge (light novel)

Flamberge's uncanny appearance draws Mabel's attention.

Except for neck and hands, her entire body is covered by a white outfit sealed by locks, restraining her movements like if she was using a straitjacket. When Mabel questions the way she was being treated, the man affirms she was wearing it of her own will. However, her partner says she was only suiting his preferences. Mabel interrupts the bickering and asks about their identities. Hal Kamhout is looking for a young man travelling together with a girl that should be wearing a lock and carrying strange books. Hal wears himself as a clergy and carries a huge staff attached to his motorcycle. Without any further explanations, he affirms to be a Book Burning Officer. The policer officer lets them go, making sure Flamberge was not being mistreated. Hal asks where he could refuel his vehicle. There are no gas stations in town, but he would be able to buy gasoline from merchants in a few days. Flamberge complains when Hal decides they will be camping until then. However, Mabel offers food and accommodation at her place. As someone protecting the citizens, it was safer to keep suspicious people nearby.

Part 2 Edit

Mabel was leading Hal and Flamberge through the shopping district. Even if people were chatting and laughing, the scene didn’t give off a lively impression. It was like watching the actors of a bad play. Hal notices many brothels around. Although a rural town, prostitutes gathered in the place, aiming for workers and military officers present during the war. Hal heard about dozens of people going missing in the town after the end of the war. Mabel turns pale, denying the rumors and affirming no one had died or disappeared in the recent years. Hal insists, saying those deemed as missing were outsiders such as travelers and merchants. He wants to check if the couple he’s searching is related with the rumors.

They stop in front of a three-story house. The police officer welcomes them to her place. Hal and Flamberge meet Mabel’ grandparents in the living room, sit in a woolen sofa in front of a fireplace. They have an unnatural behavior, smiling like a mechanical puppet. Patricia, Mabel’s sister, also appears from upstairs. The little girl tells them to go away before dashing up the stairs. Mabel follows her. Flamberge maliciously asks if he’s interested in little girls. Hal doesn’t mind her bad attitude. At least Patricia had enough emotions to hate him.

Part 3 Edit

It was past midnight when Hal left Mabel’s house, heading to the hill beyond the heart of the town. Taking a good look at the map, he noticed a region inaccessible by car, as if the streets were altered to keep people away. Walking to investigate the place, Hal finds a gruesome view which someone was trying to hide. Remains of buildings, streets turned into ashes, traces of war. Part of the town was probably engulfed by flames during an air-raid. Surely, many lost their lives. A sweet voice reaches Hal’s ears. The woman was the very model of a prostitute. She looked fake, like the other residents of the town. The man questions what she was doing there and who was controlling her. It was an odd place for a prostitute to attract customers. She has no answer, acting agitated and showing no expression, revealing an inhumanly face with vacant eyes, resembling one of a sculpture.

She thrusts her fingers towards Hal, cutting his cheek. If he had a slower reaction, he would be dead by now. The prostitute keeps attacking with tremendous speed and strength. However, the Book Burning Officer uses a martial arts technique to restrain the enemy by the arm. Going against his warning, the prostitute fights back. Her arm breaks, flying away without a single drop of blood. It’s a piece of wood in the shape of a human arm, with a polished wooden ball as joint. Instead of an open wound, the woman was showing only a wooden cross-section. Hal is cut once again, his coat getting soaked with blood. He kicks her to create some distance. She rushes towards him for the last time. Hal grabs her head and pushes it against the ground, shattering it into countless splinters. He examines the remains of the dressed puppet.

Part 4 Edit

Hal returns to Mabel’s house at sunrise. The police officer had already left to work. He finds Flamberge and Patricia sleeping together. The silver-haired young woman had won Mabel’s sister over, reading a fairy tale book. The little girl was worried about Hal. After all, other visitors had disappeared. The Book Burning Officer was wounded, but it was nothing serious. He seems to pity Patricia for a moment. As always, Flamberge is teasing him, asking if he’s jealous because she spent the night with a little girl. The duo leaves the house.

Part 5 Edit

Although the factory had many machines active, the place was quiet. The few workers present never questioned their unauthorized visit. Hal had looked through the archives about the city. Ammunition, bombs and gun parts used to be produced on site. Now, as evidenced by a storehouse nearby, puppets were being manufactured. There’s a mountain of boxes. Inside them, the inhabitants of the town, including men, women, children, even prostitutes. Hal and Flamberge discuss about a technique that allows a sorcerer to control puppets. Something like that was applied to the workers around, and even to the prostitute Hal met last night. The puppets were replacing the townsfolk, explaining why Mabel affirmed there were no casualties in the recent years. Because of that, the town will remain unchanged for eternity. Flamberge questions why someone would do that. Hal tells her to ask directly to the culprit. He points his staff to Mabel.

The police officer appears from the shadow. The day before, Hal had purposely ridden around the town, telling everyone they were looking for someone. When Mabel stopped them, they knew she had probably met the Biblioprincess. That’s how Hal discovered she’s the puppeteer. Mabel asks if he’s referring to a beautiful armored girl with a lock. For a moment, Hal changed his expression for the first time, showing immense hatred. Mabel finally reveals the Phantom Book she was hiding behind her. She had conducted the ceremony described in The First Sacred Treasure of Hell to make puppets obey her. The first ones were using the deserted factory to increase their numbers. Mabel wishes to protect the town by creating stand-ins of those who died in the air-raid. During the war, explosions and flames took the lives of a large fraction of the population. From 3000 inhabitants, fewer than 400 survived. The police officer keeps justifying her actions, affirming the townsfolk accepted the puppets. After all, they could be with their loved ones again. However, Hal explains the puppets can only follow her commands. When they are placed in an unfamiliar situation, they become hostile. That’s why outsiders were disappearing around the town. Mabel was protecting the shadow of the past. Because she was weak, clinging to the past and refusing to accept changes, the town was taken by an illusion. The police officer acknowledges that, but thinks it’s too late to go back.

With a shout, she awakens the boxed puppets. They soon fill the narrow pathway. Hal knows he has no chance against them. Before the puppets can reach him, he removes his glove, revealing a beautiful crimson jewel on his right hand. With the golden keys that suddenly appears in his possession, he opens the Long Lost Library. The Book Burning Officer removes an old book from the void revealed on the body of Flamberge, the Silver Biblioprincess, who laughs loudly like maniac. He loads his long staff by positioning the book at its tip. The object is a destructive weapon which spouts out flames by using the magic of Phantom Books as fuel. Mabel falls on her knees while watching the factory and her puppets being enveloped in fire. Hal finally points his staff at her. She affirms the person who wields the cataclysmal staff of Surtr will eventually be consumed by his own flames. Hal accepts his destiny as a Book Burning Officer. He uses the weapon to shoot the Phantom Book and its owner without mercy.

Part 6 Edit

With eyes slightly wet with tears, Patricia is sit in the dark room by herself, in front of the stove. Her grandparents had stopped moving. Hal arrives shortly before dusk, carrying the police officer on his arms. As a Book Burning Officer, his job is erase all Phantom Books and everything that comes in contact with them. He burned the part of Mabel’s mind which was corroded by the Phantom Book. She wouldn’t remember anything after she received The First Sacred Treasure of Hell. Hal laid the unconscious policewoman on the sofa and turned around to leave the house. Patricia runs after him to thank him. The little girl knew they were playing dumb, living a long dream. She had the impression the man was smiling, although his face had the same sour look. Hal sets off with his motorcycle without looking back. Flamberge teases him from the sidecar, pointing out he was happy, smiling from ear to ear. As always, Hal tells her to shut up.[1]

Trivia Edit

  • During the World War I, the main German bombing campaign against England started in January 1915 until the end of the war in 1918. About 51 air raids were carried out by airships and 27 by aeroplanes, resulting in circa 1400 ground casualties.[2] Mabel affirms that around 2600 died only in her small rural town.[1]
    • Night air raids took place as from September 1917, when the improved British air defenses forced German forces to abandon daylight attacks. Although the night protected the aircraft from interceptions, it also complicated navigation and landing.[2]
    • The heavy bomber Gotha G.IV was used during these night raids. As described in the chapter, it's a large-sized, two-engine, white military biplane with giant wings.[2] In the anime adaptation, the airplanes are even decorated with the Iron Cross, a military mark in the German Empire and later in Nazi Germany.[3]
  • Book burning, also known as bibliocaust or libricide, refers to the destruction by fire of books and other written materials, representing censorship and cultural, religious, or political opposition.[4]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 5, volume 1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 German strategic bombing during World War I. (2017, February 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:48, April 15, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=German_strategic_bombing_during_World_War_I&oldid=764012789
  3. Iron Cross. (2017, April 7). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:24, April 16, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Iron_Cross&oldid=774219943
  4. Book burning. (2017, April 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:18, April 21, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Book_burning&oldid=775857763

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