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Dalian
Dalian's infobox

Japanese Name

ダリアン

Romanized Name

Darian

Nickname(s)/Alias(es)

Black Reading Princess (黒読姫 Kuro Yomihime)

Black Biblioprincess

Debut

Chapter 1 (light novel 1);
Chapter 1 (manga);
Episode 1

Key-keeper

Hugh

Voice actor

沢城 みゆき
Miyuki Sawashiro

Status

Alive

Dalian is the Black Biblioprincess or the Black Reading Princess. She's the custodian of the Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian housing 900,666 Phantom Books. Her key-keeper is Hugh. She's one of the main protagonists of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian.

BackgroundEdit

The name "Dalian" derives from "Dantalian". What little is known of Dalian is that she interacted with Hugh in his childhood, giving him the key for the gates to the Labyrinth Library, and that her previous key-keeper was his grandfather Wesley. Hugh also promised to be her friend and to take her to the outside world. In the manga, she was also present when Wesley took The Harlequinade from his grandson' hands.

Additionally, many characters seem to know Dalian or know of her, which implies that she is much older than she appears, possibly centuries old. Sometimes she calls other people "human", which can imply that she is a different being.

She's been waiting the next key-keeper since Wesley's death. Because she was bored, she read all the books from his collection.

AppearanceEdit

Dalian appears in both light novel/manga and anime adaptation as a young girl with long, black hair reaching her waist. She appears to have between 12 or 13 years old. She's usually mistaken for a doll, with a clear white skin. As described in the light novel, Dalian wears an odd combination of dress and armor, which includes armored boots and tassets. It usually surprises people who never seen her. Both versions sport a metallic ring around the neck and are often carrying or reading a book.

AnimeEdit

In the anime adaptation, Dalian wears a black, Victorian-style dress with red laces and white frills in its sleeves and hem. She has a small tiara and an ornate pendant, which serves as the lock to the Bibliotheca. When outside, she uses a black bonnet, which has a red rose attached to its front part. When it's cold, she is seen with a black and white overcoat, brown gloves and a white fur hat, with a red rose in its right side. Unlike in the light novel, Dalian's eyes are a dark shade of pink, rather than red. Part of her hair rises when she sees sweets.

Light novel and manga Edit

In the light novel and manga version of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian, Dalian typically wears a white mob cap, in addition to a black and red tea gown with white lining. She wears a padlock chained to her neck, acting as the gates of the Bibliotheca. The ring around her neck has a darker hue and looks sturdier compared with what is seen in the anime. When she's outside, she uses a parasol. Her eyes are a shade of red in the illustrations. However, the light novel describes it as deep black.

Dalian light novel

Dalian, as seen in the light novel.

PersonalityEdit

MysticArchivesDantalian003

Dalian's hair when she wants sweets.

Dalian tends to be flippant and rude to everybody, in particular Hugh, whom is usually hit by her. However, despite this, she becomes jealous or possessive whenever he interacts with another woman, for instance Camilla. She has already shown concern for Hugh in difficult situations and even tried to attract his attention by changing her hairstyle. Otherwise, she will be in a bad mood and argue when her wishes are not met. Dalian tries to hide her emotions with a grumpy attitude, though her eyes and blush usually reveal what she's thinking. She hardly loses her calm in a hostile environment. Dalian is shown to respect Wesley Disward and grive for his death.

She is a sweet tooth, placing great importance on buns, scones, and tea. This is often used by Camilla to bribe Dalian. Dalian has great will to solve cases in order to seal the Phantom Books, but otherwise she shows no interest, except for books and tea time. She is able to read books from various areas and languages.

Plot Edit

Turn-Up Book Edit

Dalian is reading in the basement of Wesley's mansion until she's found by Hugh. He mistakes her for a doll at first. He introduces himself. At first, she's suspicious of Hugh. Dalian hits him when she hears her name was mistakenly thought to refer to a pet. They have a conversation in the kitchen, where she eats the bread offered by Hugh, complaining about the lack of sugar. When Hugh tries to find a clue related to The Mystic Archives of Dantalian, Dalian affirms he would not find anything. She learns about Hugh and how he's disappointed by his grandfather's collection. Before he can talk about his golden key, they are interrupted. Someone appears to take Hugh to Lord Henry Conrad's mansion.

Opening the gate

Dalian gives Hugh the right to open the Library's gate for the first time.

Dalian says Hugh would find the evidence proving Conrad killed his grandfather to obtain a valuable book. Inside the mansion, they discover bodies and destruction. They are attacked by a clown, which is shot by Hugh. Soon after, Hugh has a confrontation against a tiger.[1] In the anime adaptation, Hugh confronts a lion instead.[2] They go into hiding. Dalian explains the situation was caused by The Harlequinade, a Phantom Book. She also describes the purpose of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian. When they are stopped by a dragon, Hugh tells Dalian to run away while he stays behind.[1] In the manga, they are opposed by a tiger and other creatures from The Harlequinade.[3] Instead of running away, Dalian reveals to be custodian of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian and gives him the right to open it. Hugh uses his golden key and they obtain a grimorium called "Liber de Nymphis" from inside the Library. She reads it to defeat the creature.[1] Alternatively, in the anime, Hugh uses the Phantom Book to make the dragon disappear.[2] Dalian seals The Harlequinade after finding Conrad's body. They leave the mansion together. Dalian is exposed as "the world in the vase". Thereafter, Hugh starts to take care of Dalian.[1]

Pedigree Edit

Pedigree Book infobox

Dalian holding The Pedigree of All Creations.

Dalian has an appointment with Boyd Hurston. She's enjoying an all-you-cant eat buffet while Hugh is learning about the situation of the town. Leonard Ashwell, a popular lawyer who has represented the townsfolk in a lawsuit against Roy Hurston was killed by a beast, and now the place was crowded with hunters. Later, they meet Boyd and his grandsons Roy and Chez. That night, the old man would choose the new head of the family and Dalian would show The Pedigree of All Creations as inheritance. Waiting in the garden until evening, she tries to hide her fear of dogs. They learn about the family business and the Phantom Book used by Boyd to create artificial beings. They discuss about the family's involvement in the Ashwell massacre. It comes the moment when Boyd will name his successor. He reveals his secret laboratory, where he applied the knowledge of The Pedigree of All Creations to bring fourth humans with superior qualities.

Eventually, Dalian is protected by Hugh, who notices a faint light coming from The Pedigree of All Creations carried by her. The confrontation occurs when Roy loses control, unable to accept Chez as the new head of the family. Roy killed his own grandfather. After an explosion, Hugh wakes up with his face being slapped by Dalian. The Beast of Ashwell appears, but Dalian urges Hugh not to shoot him. After all, Chez had transformed himself to support the collapsed ceiling. When Roy sets the place on fire, Dalian gives Hugh the right to open the Labyrinth Library. A Phantom Book is used to move them to a safe spot. Hugh and Dalian discovered that Roy was responsible for the Ashwell massacre and that the Beast of Ashwell was only trying to stop him. They watch as Roy kills himself and Chez runs away in his beast form. The next day, Dalian complains about Chez, who decided not to take The Pedigree of All Creations with him. Hugh suggests he was only trying to protect her. He comforts her, saying he will return someday to accept the Phantom Book.[4]

Book of Wisdom Edit

Sweet tooth Dalian

Dalian is seduced by Camilla's sweets.

Dalian is in a library with Hugh, when Camilla appears to interrupt their arguing. Dalian is hostile to Camilla, but accepts to go to her place with Hugh when she offers sweets. They discover that Camilla's rival has a school with very wise kids, which obtained knowledge through a Phantom Book, having also a change in personality. Dalian has the first edition of this book, and for that reason she's not interested in the case and only wants to eat sweets. However, Hugh requests Mildred's location. At the latter's home, they hear how she regrets obtaining that book and ask them to speak directly with the children, which she sees as monsters. Hugh and Dalian head to the cottage in the garden, where they find the Book of Wisdom and the six children, who know their identities as managers of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian. Hugh is worried about what they would do with all this wisdom, but they ensure to continue to live quietly.[5]

Queen of the Night Edit

Dalian watering

Dalian watering The Queen of The Night.

Hugh finds Dalian inside the glasshouse, watering a huge and rare cactus imported from Africa. She explains the plant will bloom that same night, an event that takes 13 years to happen. They leave the place to have tea, but two men from the Gladstone Company appeared at the door, talking about a delivery for Lord Wesley. The black-haired man attacks Hugh, but he's thrown to the ground. However, Hugh backs down when the brown-haired man points a gun to Dalian. Both are tied with ropes while the criminals look for The Queen of the Night, supposedly a Phantom Book. Hugh is threaten and beaten with a gun by the brown-haired man. Dalian blurts out about something in the glasshouse, attracting the criminals' attention. Hugh releases Dalian and himself. They hear screams before reaching the glasshouse. Dalian explains about the cactus known as The Queen of the Night and how both robbers were eaten by the plant. Dalian implies that she has no pity of the criminal guild because of what they have done to Hugh.[6]

Book of Fetus Edit

Dalian accompanies Hugh, who accepts a job requested by Miss Estella Lilburn in place of his deceased grandfather. They must determine the value of her late grandfather's collection of books, which interests Dalian. She's annoyed with all the attention Estella is having from Huey. Dalian watches as Hugh learns from Martin Geese, Estella's cousin, that Miss Lilburn is isolated in that mansion due to a curse from a Phantom Book that kills everyone that tries to take her from that place. Later, Hugh explains this supposed curse started 50 years ago, before Estella's birth. Dalian clarifies that a Phantom Book doesn't curse the owner, only the reader. Hugh and Dalian hear someone screaming. Outside, they find a golem holding the body of Martin next to a bloodstained Estella. Hugh shoots the creature, that flees. Estella shows an eerie behavior and apologizes to her absent grandmother for the stains in her dress.

Dalian reading

Dalian reads about the Lilburn family.

The next day, Dalian tells Hugh about golems and the Phantom Books called "Book of Fetus" and "72 Sacred Notes of the Shem-ha-mephorash". She also discovers how Colonel Lilburn's wife is descendant of people hunted down because of a string of murders within their territory. During lunch, Estella stabs Hugh and explains she kills people to make them unable to leave her. Hugh was protected by a book hidden in his trench coat by Dalian. The Golem appears and Dalian gives Hugh the right to open The Mystic Archives of Dantalian to obtain two Phantom Books, the Book of Styx and The Clay Tablet of Ugarit. He attacks the Golem to no avail. Dalian explains only the 72 Sacred Notes of the Shem-ha-mephorash can stop the monster. Hugh realizes that this Phantom Book exists in the form of the bell ringings coming from the mansion's clock tower. Another lightning attack is used to destroy the clock tower. The Golem is finally defeated. Dalian retreats from the collapsing mansion with Hugh, leaving Estella behind. Days later, she mimics Estella's hairstyle to attract Hugh's attention.[7]

Book of Soul Exchange Edit

Dalian discovers Lenny's body

Dalian discovers Lenny's body.

Dalian reads the first two books from the Crown of the Dog Days trilogy and becomes frustrated by the lack of the final part. The trilogy is incomplete due to the supposed author's murder. Hugh bought those books to investigate the case, after receiving a letter of distress from the author Lenny Lents, destined to Lord Wesley. Hugh and Dalian head to Lenny’s residence and find a woman that presents herself as the author’s wife, Paula Lents. She will arrange a meeting the next day. While preparing to leave the place, they discuss how the woman they just met was a fake, as Lenny’s wife has already passed away. At night, they break into the storage room and find Lenny’s body and a captivated woman called Leticia Serkis, the author’s lover. She asks them to return the next day and take Lenny away.

After having tea with Paula, Hugh and Dalian meet Lenny. He’s alive and working on the last part of his trilogy. Using his typewriter to trick Paula, the author writes a message asking them to save Leticia and let him behind. Through his autograph, Hugh and Dalian confirm the man’s identity. Late at night, Hugh and Dalian break into the storage room again and find the body of Leticia. Lenny appears at the door, threaten by Paula. She's exposed as a maniac fan that is looking for the perfect ending for Lenny’s work. Everyday, the author is revived as soon as his lover is murdered, and vice versa. The powers of The Ophiuchus Manuscript made that possible. Dalian sees Paula’s demise when attacked by the monster formed by Lenny and Leticia, result of evolution over many deaths. She gives Hugh the right to open the gate, but he says there is no need for that. They see Lenny and Leticia disappear. The next day, Dalian reads the final part of the trilogy. She's unsatisfied and decides to write a new ending with Hugh.[8]

The Magician's Daughter Edit

Hugh makes Dalian angry by moving her books before she can finish reading them. Armand Jeremiah appears looking for a Phantom Book. The three head to a brothel to discover the whereabouts of Viola Duplessis, a courtesan who is requesting five specific Phantom Books from her suitors. A hostess delivers her address, since the Black Biblioprincess was being expected. Dalian learns that Viola has no memory until three years ago, but knows about The Mystic Archives of Dantalian and the Phantom Books necessary to protect her from someone referred as the Earl. Dalian is impatient by Armand's adulated behavior towards Viola and tries to kick him. However, Hugh kicks him first to protect him from a winged woman. After a brief confrontation, the monster informs that the Earl will be coming for Viola the next full moon. The monster leaves and Hugh and Dalian bid farewell, saying they will be back when the villain appears.

Dalian against the Count

Dalian explaining Melgar's powers.

Hugh and Dalian return to the brothel, which is crowded with men wishing to protect Viola. Dalian compares the situation with what happens in The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. Dalian sees how five of her suitors, including Armand, obtained the Phantom Books requested by the courtesan. The Earl finally appears, releasing magical attacks to kill those who were trying to stop him. Hugh notices that the blood of the fallen men turned into liquid mercury. According to Dalian, the Earl is a real sorcerer, more powerful when there is a full moon. In the anime, while protecting Dalian, Hugh is wounded by one of the monsters summoned by the old man. They watch as the five suitors protect Viola, who later is revealed as Melgar's daughter, a homunculus created as an experiment. When the magician charges a powerful fireball to kill Viola’s suitors, Dalian gives Hugh the right to open the gate for The Mystic Archives of Dantalian, making possible for the suitors to use the real Phantom Books to cure everyone and defeat Viola’s creator. Melgar promises to meet Hugh and Dalian again. The latter is also present the next day, when Viola departs with Baron, leaving a sorrowful Armand behind.[9]

Trivia Edit

  • In the anime, Dalian appears in both eyecatchers used to begin and end a commercial break, next to the girl inside the Labyrinth Archive.

References Edit

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