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Ben Arkin
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Japanese Name

ベン・ァーキン

Romanized Name

Ben Ākin

Nickname(s)/Alias(es)

Count (伯 Haku)

Debut

Chapter 5 (light novel 4)

Voice actor

N/A

Status

Alive

Ben Arkin is the Count and owner of the Reizl Castle, and father of Elisha, who was born from an incestuous relationship with Hildegard. Mithril sent a warning letter saying that she would steal a valuable Phantom Book from the Count. Ben is present in the Phantom Book Thief story.

Background[]

Ben owns a rural region with gentle hills and harvested fields northeast of the capital. The nobleman lives in the Reizl Castle (レイズルカースル Reizurukāsuru), surrounded by ramparts. The old fort was built in the Middle Ages. The walls are made of reddish sandstone. The estate doesn’t look as luxurious as the modern mansions, but it’s an intimidating ancient building. Many stones are missing from the fortress. The old red bricks at the ramparts are covered with grass and bushes. At the bottom of the wall, one can notice a strange pattern. Magical symbols keep a barrier active for at least ten years around the property, preventing everyone uninvited from entering. Ben inherited a huge library from his grandfather.

Ben’s family is a prestigious one, around since the Hundred Years' War. The Count is attended by many servants. Yuna is the personal doctor of his daughter Elisha, a little girl born from an incestuous relationship between Ben and his younger sister Hildegard. Soon after the birth, thirteen years before main events of Phantom Book Thief, Ben locked Hildegard inside the basement of the Reizl Castle, since the woman started to be corrupted by the magic from her grandfather’s Phantom Books. The Count knew that Hildegard committed atrocities to become more powerful. The basement also hides the secret collection of Phantom Books of Ben’s grandfather behind a portrait. Mithril, a famous Phantom Book Thief, sent a warning letter to police and newspapers, saying that she will steal a valuable Phantom Book from Ben’s castle.[1]

Personality[]

Ben cares for her daughter Elisha and tries to protect her innocence. He hires a personal doctor to check on her health, and even asks a Book Burning Officer to keep her safe. The Count is tormented by his past, when Hildegard became violent, corrupted by Phantom Books. He tries to avoid any conversation about Phantom Books. The idea of Hildegard freely killing makes him tremble in fear. Ben loved Hildegard, but he was forced to imprisoned her to stop her atrocities.[1]

Appearance[]

Ben is described as a tall gentleman in suit jacket. He’s about 35 years.[1]

Plot[]

Hal and Flamberge are driving to Ben’s castle. Hal learned about a warning letter sent to police and newspapers. Mithril, the Phantom Book Thief, will try to steal a Phantom Book from the castle. Flamberge heard that a vicious demon was seen in those lands fifteen to sixteen years ago. The police, led by Inspector Grosseteste, are limiting access to the castle while trying to catch Mithril.

Later, Hal finds magical symbols in the ramparts around the castle. An ancient barrier prevents those uninvited from entering. Someone appears running on the ramparts. Hal chases after the demon known as “Scarlet Robe”. The mysterious figure runs away, leaving an unconscious little girl behind. Now, Grosseteste can't deny access to Hal, the savior of Ben’s daughter.

Ben shouts Elisha’s name as soon as Hal drives into the castle’s yard. Ben is followed by his servants. He calls for Elisha’s personal doctor. Ben breathes in relief, knowing that his daughter is safe. The Count doesn’t know about Book Burning Officers. However, when Ben hears about Phantom Books, he becomes lost in thought. Hal questions Ben. The Count affirms that he knows nothing about Phantom Books. He asks Hal to stay in the castle, protecting Elisha. Hal and Flamberge knows that Ben is hiding something.

Six policemen and two servants are killed by Elisha’s doppelgänger, the Scarlet Robe. Ben shakes in fear while everyone tries to understand what's happening. Hal deduces that the Scarlet Robe isn’t part of Elisha, but someone living in the castle who's using the power of a Phantom Book. Ben is pale, sweating. He jumps when he hears Elisha’s scream. In the guest room, Elisha was unharmed. However, a bloody dress had been hung on the wall. Ben decides to reveal what he knows.

Everyone went to the locked door of the secret basement. Ben seems like ten years older. He reveals that the Scarlet Robe is Hildegard, his younger sister. Thirteen years ago, Ben locked Hildegard inside the basement, keeping her from committing more atrocities. Hildegard had been possessed by her grandfather’s Phantom Books, and was killing people to become more powerful. Inside the dark basement with a bone-strewn floor, Ben affirms that he had no choice but to lock her sister. That moment, Ben hears the calm voice of a girl. He sees the image of Elisha. However, Hal pushes Ben far from her. The Count steps back, now understanding that he's looking at Hildegard.

Hildegard wants to take Elisha’s body to resurrect using the Decorative Plywood of Merneith. Ben asks why she's aiming an innocent child. With a smile, Hildegard affirms that Elisha is her and Ben’s daughter. Hildegard is destroyed by Hal’s flames. Her last words are directed to Ben. He had said that he loved her. She had believed him. At dawn, Ben is accused by the police of murdering his sister and hiding the evidence. However, he gathers his courage and cooperates with the authorities. Hal burns the Phantom Books hidden inside Ben’s basement. [1]

Hildengard

Ben meets Hildegard, Elisha's doppelgänger.

Trivia[]

  • The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts from 1337 to 1453, waged between English and French dynasties, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, marking the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and the development of strong national identities in both countries.[2]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 5, volume 4.
  2. Hundred Years' War. (2020, April 24). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:03, April 25, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Hundred_Years%27_War&oldid=952860605
Characters

Biblioprincesses

Dalian - Flamberge - Rasiel

Key-keepers

Hugh Anthony Disward - Hal Kamhout - Professor

Recurring characters

The Girl in the Bookshelf - Wesley Disward - Kamilla Sauer Keynes - Jessica Elphinstone - Shura Irmania - Armand Jeremiah - The Perennial Wisdom's Owner - Oliver Grosseteste - Mithril - Hugh's mother - Hugh's father - Natalia - Hal's beloved - Miss Roedean

Creatures and machines

Atlantic Rim - Automaton - Beast of Ashwell - Book of Royal Power - Branches of Relationship - Broken Wings - Dantalian - Dead Book - Ghost train - Golem - Guignols - Guillemot - Heath - House-elf - Kasuruhau - Logbook - Loge's giant - Musical automaton - Pioneer Plant - The Harlequinade's creatures - Ras Alhague monster - Scarlet Robe - Sea devils - Steam Giant - The Queen of the Night - W Machine - Winged women - Wooden dolls - Zombies

Dalian Days

Priscilla Riley - Cecil Patreina - Margaret Manschwell

Others

Male Characters - Female Characters
Phantom Book Users - Deceased Characters
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