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Book of Humanization
Chapter 3LN6 infobox
Chapter 3

Episode 23: Den Lille Havfrue

Japanese Name

人化の書

Romanized Name

Hito-ka no Sho

Volume

6

Release Date

August, 2010 (The Sneaker)

Pages

83

Adaptation

N/A

For the Phantom Book, see Book of Humanization.

"Book of Humanization" is the 3rd chapter of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, volume 6. It's divided into ten parts and contains two illustrations. The chapter is labeled as Episode 23 in the story line.

Hugh and Dalian travel to an island where they should take care of Lecia, John McGuigan’s adopted girl. According to rumors, the place is home of sea devils.[1]

Summary[]

A middle-aged man lands his plane on a small island. The bodies of beautiful long-haired women lay in the sandy beach. At second glance, they weren’t humans. Instead of legs, they have long fish tail covered with silver scales. Tentacles grow from their backs, each one ending in a mouth with sharp teeth. Despair is reflected on the man’s face as he examines the dead creatures. He hears a quiet cry. He finds a small creature embraced by its dead mother.

Part 1[]

The high waves shake the small boat, which travels through a narrow strait using its old engine. The sailors need to be careful to avoid the underwater rocks. Sat on a bench, a woman in white coat reads a book. Opposite to her, Hugh appreciates the scenery. Dalian, besides him, is fighting not to throw up. According to Hugh, her seasickness came because she’s trying to read while the ship is swaying. Dalian is rude to him. She’s in a bad mood. After all, they should have arrived after one hour of sailing. It seems like the ship they were supposed to board was involved in an accident. Fortunately, they found a captain who offered them passage in another vessel. However, the travel was taking half a day.

The captain hears her complaints. He's going slowly to avoid the rocks. According to him, monsters live in the local waters. That’s the legend spread by the locals. Creatures with the upper part of a beautiful woman and the lower part of a sea demon, with many tentacles. The creatures lure fishermen and eat them. Dalian snorts at it. The ship approaches the destination. The woman who seemed fine now is feeling nauseous. She grabs Dalian, trying not to fall. Luckily, the woman vomits on the bench, not over Dalian. However, Dalian, now distracted, is still in danger. When a big wave sways the ship, she falls into the sea. The fishing ship continues to sail.

Part 2[]

The woman apologizes. Dalian is soaked and angry, but safe. She had to remove her black dress and her heavy boots. Hugh gave her his coat. The woman introduces herself as marine biologist Lucrece Lang. She’s a local who is returning to the Latham Archipelago after a long time. Lucrece invites them to her hotel room, where Dalian can wash herself and her clothes. The trio notice policemen at the pier. The policemen push the crowd aside to remove the headless body of a man. Lucrece recognizes the watch on the wrist of Mr. Smythe, the famous owner of a shipyard. The culprit’s gruesome method makes everyone think that the victim was killed by sea devils. Dalian believes that the man was killed by an employee. Hugh notices that she's inspired by the detective novel in her hands. Lucrece affirms that the monsters love little naughty girls. Dalian freezes in fear.

A man calls for Hugh. The latter smiles at his old friend McGuigan. Hugh explains that McGuigan was an instructor who taught him how to pilot a fighter during the Great War. Lucrece announces that she’s going to the hotel. She tells Hugh and Dalian to pay her a visit before leaving the island. Lucrece will take them to a restaurant as an apology. Dalian becomes interested. She hides her excitement when she notices Lucrece’s satisfied expression.

Part 3[]

McGuigan had sent a telegram to Hugh, asking him to come without explaining the reason. Now he’s driving Hugh and Dalian in his Rolls-Royce. McGuigan seems interested in the girl adopted by Wesley. He reveals that she’s the reason for his telegram. They reach McGuigan’s stone castle. It stands on the edge of a high cliff projecting into the sea. McGuigan takes his guests to his office. There, McGuigan introduces Lecia, his niece. She’s a fragile, mute young girl. There's a book in her hands. Her parents died, so McGuigan adopted her. Lecia examines the guests while hidden behind McGuigan. Dalian, also shy, stands behind Hugh. Lecia also loves books, so McGuigan wants her to make friends with Dalian.

The Biblioprincess promptly refuses. She doesn’t like children and animals, after all. Lecia uses a blackboard to communicate. She tells Dalian that she’s not a child and that Dalian is also small. Lecia had read the book in Dalian’s hands. She tells the ending as proof, making Dalian furious. Lecia pulls Dalian by the hair. The mute girl will take Dalian to the bath and will provide her with clothes. Lecia smells the pleasant scent of the sea on Dalian’s hair.

Part 4[]

Dalian change clothes

Dalian borrows Lecia's dress.

When it started to get dark, Lecia and Dalian returned to the study. According to Hugh, Dalian looks good with the dress borrowed by Lecia and the hair tied into two tails. Dalian would pass as an ordinary girl if not for the lock on her chest and the metallic boots. However, Dalian dislikes the thin fabric. McGuigan is happy to see Lecia’s joy.

An old butler enters the office to warn his master about policemen wishing to talk. McGuigan leaves to answer their questions about Mr. Smythe's death. McGuigan is an important figure in the island. His late father was one of those who turned the island into a resort, motivating the local development.

Hugh asks Lecia if there’s a book about the island’s sea devils somewhere in the mansion. The girl seems afraid for a moment. She shakes her head. Hugh sees an old book among McGuigan’s collection. Lecia, with an expression of fear in her face, grabs the book before Hugh can reach it. She runs out of the office.

Part 5[]

The next morning, Hugh uses McGuigan’s car to explore the island. Lecia guides him. Dalian reluctantly accepts to come along. The two girls read in the backseat. Hugh stops next to the port. The ship where Mr. Smythe’s body was found is still there. According to McGuigan, Mr. Smythe is not the only victim of the sea devils. A few days ago, Mr. Bentley went fishing on a personal yacht. Later, he was found dead, with a huge hole in his stomach, as if he was attacked by a vicious creature. It happened a few kilometers from McGuigan’s castle, next to the underwater rocks where the monsters are rumored to habit.

They meet Lucrece once again. Her presence doesn’t make Dalian happy. The biologist learned something about the sea devils at the hotel. There are no proofs, but it’s said that not only McGuigan’s father, but also Smythe, Bentley, Vernon and Haycroft, all famous rich people, took over the treasures of the sea devils. The monsters used to attack ships and steal its valuables. Fifteen years ago, the five men killed the creatures and use their treasures to boost the island's development. Dalian is skeptical about the rumors, but it may explain why Smythe and Bentley died in such mysterious circumstances. Smythe had hired securities to watch him. A killer could only attack him from the sea. The only thing Lucrece can't explain is why the sea devils were after revenge only after fifteen years.

Another theory is that the killer is a human who would benefit from Smythe and Bentley’s death. The duo had many haters. Mr. Smythe was part of an organization responsible for shutting down the development of the southern part of the island. The official reason for his opposition was the preservation of nature. However, it’s possible that he was involved in a conflict of interest. Lecia listened to the conversation and became agitated. She’s worried that McGuigan will be the next victim. Dalian resents Lucrece’s poor attempt of calming the little girl. Hugh asks Lucrece if the sea devils really exist. As a biologist, she affirms that, although fantastic creatures may live in the seas and oceans around the world, it's improbable that they could be found around the Latham Archipelago.

Lecia stares at the beach. Local fishermen are surrounding a small boat. It’s a lifeboat of a large ship. There’s only one survivor. The sailor is exhausted, his clothes stained with blood. Hugh questions a fisherman nearby. The middle-aged man explains that Mr. Vernon was trying to escape the island, but he ended up sinking with his ship.

Part 6[]

In the evening, McGuigan takes Hugh to a private room. The walls are covered with revolvers and rifles, trophies of a military career. McGuigan is tired. People had been visiting him the entire day, begging for his help. The islanders are afraid of the sea devils. Dalian is in McGuigan’s office, and Lecia is in her room. McGuigan knows that he can be the next victim. That’s why he called for Hugh and Dalian. McGuigan expects that Hugh and Dalian will take care of Lecia if something bad happens. McGuigan prepares to talk about the past and explain the reason for the deaths, but an explosion interrupts him. McGuigan looks through the window. He sees Haycroft’s men storming his castle. McGuigan asks Hugh to take Lecia and run away.

Part 7[]

Hugh meets Dalian. The Biblioprincess points to the door to Lecia’s room. It leads to a dark staircase. Dalian means to stay and finish her book. Against Dalian’s wishes, Hugh carries her downstairs. He hears the stomp of feet behind him. Hugh and Dalian reach a large natural cave connected to the sea. It looks more like a dock for submarines than the room of a little girl. They find Lecia, soaking wet, holding McGuigan’s old book against her chest. Hugh explains that the castle is being attacked by Haycroft’s men. Lecia tries to run upstairs, but Hugh stops her. He involuntarily releases Dalian, who falls on the floor. The Biblioprincess doesn’t complain. She seems distracted by the book on Lecia’s hands.

Sea creature

Lecia's true form is exposed.

The trio hear an explosion upstairs. Lecia collapses, dropping the book. Hugh shoots against the attackers. The book is destroyed by a stray bullet. Unexpectedly, Lecia, still on the floor, turns into a sea devil. The frightened attackers run out of bullets. They throw grenades at the trio. Hugh pushes Dalian against the floor, covering her. With inhuman force, Lecia pushes the couple to the water. After the explosion, she is buried under stone blocks.

Part 8[]

Hugh finally comes to his senses. Even unconscious, he didn’t release Dalian, trying to protect her. Lucrece had saved them. She had noticed Hugh and Dalian coming out of the cave under McGuigan’s castle. According to Lucrece, Dalian didn’t stop crying until Hugh began to breath. The Biblioprincess seems furious and embarrassed. Lucrece explains that Lecia was taken alive to Lord Haycroft’s house. Hugh decides to return to McGuigan’s castle. Lucrece asks to go with him.

The castle is ruined. McGuigan aims at the visitors. He lowers the gun after recognizing Hugh, Dalian and Lucrece. According to McGuigan, Haycroft took Lecia because he wants to publicly announce that Smythe and the others were killed by sea devils. McGuigan walks to Lecia’s room with his guests. It’s revealed that Lecia is not human. He picks up the remains of Lecia’s book. Dalian explains that the Book of Humanization is a Phantom Book which turns creatures into humans. Only in her cave Lecia could remove her disguise. McGuigan explains that the sea devils are kind beings who used to visit the island every few years to have children. The island is their homeland, their treasure.

Fifteen years ago, McGuigan’s father, Haycroft and the other three rich men received a fortune from the military for burying metal tanks on the island. The tanks contained a terrible chemical weapon used during the war. Over time, the poison gas leaked out of the tanks, killing the sea devils. McGuigan accidentally found their corpses and the only survivor, Lecia. The girl lived in the cave under McGuigan’s castle until he obtained the Phantom Book. With the Book of Humanization, Lecia can live as a human.

Hugh surprises McGuigan by asking why he killed Mr. Smythe and the others. McGuigan laughs. Hugh had discovered that McGuigan is the killer. After all, McGuigan has an anti-tank rifle in his room, which faces the sea. McGuigan is a great shooter who’s able to kill a target two kilometers away. The thirteen-millimeter bullet tears body parts as if the victim was attacked by a huge monster. Hugh can’t hide his anger. Haycroft had also learned that McGuigan is the killer, since everyone else among the rich men of the island were dead. That’s why Haycroft stormed the castle.

Before anyone can stop him, McGuigan runs to rescue Lecia. He won't let history repeat itself. He locks a door, keeping Hugh, Dalian and Lucrece away from the sea. Hugh and the others hear the sound of a seaplane. McGuigan had used the vehicle to sink Vernon’s ship. Now, he's bound to Haycroft’s house. Hugh finds his revolver on the floor. It had fell during the explosion. He uses the gun to open the door. He advances but jumps back soon after, barely avoiding the seaplane. McGuigan flies off.

Part 9[]

It was easy to find Haycroft’s house, since it was burning. Hugh, Dalian and Lucrece see the destroyed seaplane in the yard. Hugh steps out of the Rolls-Royce. He gives some documents to Lucrece. Hugh tells Dalian to go with Lucrece, but the Biblioprincess insists in staying with him. Hugh and Dalian were called to take care of Lecia, after all. The couple explores the large house. They hear a gunshot. Hugh picks up Dalian and bursts into a room in the center of the house. McGuigan is bleeding on the floor. Haycroft is on a sofa, holding Lecia at his feet as a hostage tied in chains. As Hugh deduced, Haycroft is doing that because the military wants to bury chemical weapons in the island once again, but McGuigan is opposing him. That explains why Haycroft and the others stopped the development of the southern part of the island.

Hugh tries to convince Haycroft to refuse the military’s offer. The military would pressure to dispose the chemicals in the island. It’s very expensive to bury it by the rules. However, Hugh had shared the documents about the transactions that took place fifteen years ago. Unless Haycroft gives up, Lucrece would make sure that the documents reach a friend journalist in Jutland. Censoring foreign newspapers won't be easy. Haycroft laughs, refusing Hugh’s terms. Hugh and Dalian are surrounded by six veteran soldiers. They were middlemen between Haycroft and the military. Haycroft shoots McGuigan’s foot to make Hugh forget about sharing the story.

A high-frequency sound shakes the windows and makes the soldiers groan. Haycroft nearly falls. Lecia cries, making the same noise. Haycroft steps on her head, but she continues to scream. Dalian reveals that the Book of Humanization has many copies around the world. There are many fantastic creatures living among humans. Tentacles wrap around Haycroft’s body. His arm is broken like a dry branch. Sea devils neutralize the soldiers. Lucrece shows up behind Hugh and Dalian. The woman in white coat removes a copy of the Book of Humanization from between her breasts. She reads the Phantom Book and turns into a sea devil. Haycroft was no longer breathing.

Part 10[]

The local sea devils died, but many more exist around the world. Some of them even go ashore and disguise themselves as humans, like Lucrece. She will take care of Lecia, for McGuigan’s relief. Now that Lecia's Book of Humanization is destroyed, Lecia can't live on land. Lucrece tells McGuigan to blame the sea devils for all the killings. However, McGuigan is decided to reveal the truth. He asks why the sea devils are not taking revenge for what happened fifteen years ago. Lucrece explains that the sea devils are only sharing the human’s fate. Someday, humans will also die, from their own weapons. McGuigan bids farewell to Lecia. The timid girl gives him a hand-woven necklace made of pebbles and shells. Before Lecia can swim away with Lucrece, Dalian gives her the original Book of Humanization. Lucrece recognizes Dalian as the Black Biblioprincess. Lecia uses her finger to write something on Dalian’s palm. The Biblioprincess smiles faintly.

Only Hugh and Dalian are left in the beach. Dalian clasps her hand tightly, as if holding a treasure. Hugh suspects that Lecia wrote “see you again” on Dalian's palm. The Biblioprincess tries to hide her feelings for Lecia. Hugh smiles, appreciating the sea. According to Dalian, its color is only an optical illusion. Nonetheless, now that Hugh knows that the waters are home for the sea devils, he finds it beautiful. Dalian agrees, although her answer is drowned out by the sound of the waves.[1]

Trivia[]

  • As a unique feature in the series, most of the Paradise and the Book of Humanization chapters happen at the same time, in the same location.[1][2]
  • "Den Lille Havfrue" is Danish for "The Little Mermaid", the name of a fairy tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, first published in 1837.[3]
  • Lecia reveals the plot of the book Dalian is reading. The sea devil talks about the culprit being the widow's uncle.[1] She's referring to Trent's Last Case, a detective novel written by English novelist E. C. Bentley and first published in the United Kingdom in 1913.[4]
    • Curiously, one of the victims in the Book of Humanization story is named Bentley.[1]
  • Hugh affirms that he will share documents about the leakage of chemical weapons to a journalist in Jutland. He's referring to Shura Irmania.[1]
  • The first large scale use of chemical weapons was during the Great War. It was employed to demoralize, injure, and kill entrenched defenders. Gas attacks caused a total of 1.3 million casualties.[5]
    • After the Great War, many chemical weapons were loaded onto ships that were simply sunk into the sea. Dumping munitions into the sea was seen to be safe and environmentally benign. Many chemical weapons were also buried, resulting in release of toxic compounds which contaminated the soil and water surface.[6] Disposal by dumping in any body of water or by land burial were prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention, a treaty signed in 1993.[7]
    • Hugh decides to let newspapers in Jutland publish about the disposal of poison gas because that's where many suffered from the chemical weapons.[1] For instance, in 1916, chemical weapons were used by the United Kingdom and Germany during the Battle of Jutland, the largest naval battle of the Great War.[8]
  • As Dalian explains, the sea looks blue because part of sunlight's visible spectrum is absorbed by water, and the other part is reflected.[1] The red, orange, yellow, and green wavelengths of light are absorbed and so the remaining light we see is composed of the shorter wavelength blues and violets. The color of the sea is also determined by substances and particles in the water which interact with light.[9]
  • Dalian and Lucrece have seasickness, a form of motion sickness. According to Hugh, it happened because they were reading a book, so the rocking motion of the ship was being felt, but not seen.[1][10]
    • There are various hypotheses that attempt to explain the cause of the condition. It may be the result of a difference between inputs from the semicircular canal and other inputs.[10] Dalian explains that she has very sensitive semicircular canal.[1] These tubes of the inner ear provide sensory input. They are filled with a fluid which acts as a motion sensor.[11]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 6.
  2. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 6.
  3. The Little Mermaid. (2020, June 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:37, June 14, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Little_Mermaid&oldid=961163415
  4. Trent's Last Case. (2020, March 18). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:45, June 20, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Trent%27s_Last_Case&oldid=946234516
  5. Chemical weapons in World War I. (2020, April 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:26, June 21, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Chemical_weapons_in_World_War_I&oldid=952498624
  6. Michael Freemantle. (2018, November 11). The great war clean-up. In Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 22:48, June 20, 2020, from https://www.chemistryworld.com/features/the-great-war-clean-up/3009456.article
  7. Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction. In opcw.org. Retrieved 22:48, June 20, 2020, from https://www.opcw.org/sites/default/files/documents/CWC/CWC_en.pdf
  8. Battle of Jutland. (2020, June 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:26, June 21, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Jutland&oldid=963454317
  9. Ocean color. (2020, April 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:15, June 21, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ocean_color&oldid=952565669
  10. 10.0 10.1 Motion sickness. (2020, May 28). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:40, June 20, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Motion_sickness&oldid=959376157
  11. Semicircular canals. (2020, June 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:48, June 20, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Semicircular_canals&oldid=961811709
Previous Light novel Next

Volume 1

Gastronomy Worship - Pedigree - Book of Wisdom - The Dictator's Book - Turn-Up Book - Book of Lifetime - Libricide

Volume 2

The Briar Princess - Queen of the Night - The Lovers - Book of Equivalence - Book of Fetus - Winning Strategy - The Mystic Archives of Rasiel

Volume 3

Book of Soul Exchange - Book of Oblivion - Book of Twilight - Book of Sleep - The Magician's Daughter - The Beautiful Woman's World - Book of Atonement

Volume 4

Book of Gap - Phantom Score - Book of Relationship - Book of Hypnosis - The Perfumer - The House-Elf's Rough Time - Phantom Book Thief

Volume 5

Timetable - Waterside Flower - The Cat and the Biblioprincess - Book of Fools - The Logbook - The Observer - Book of Connection

Volume 6

The Template Book - The Working Man - Book of Coffin - The Real Me - Book of Humanization - Paradise

Volume 7

Disaster and Temptation - Catalogue - Book of Wisdom II - The Girls' Long Night - Book of Imitation - The Key-Keeper

Volume 8

Phantom Book of the King - The Last Book - Vignette of Eternal Twilight
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