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The Key-Keeper
Chapter 4LN7 infobox
Chapter 4

Episode FINAL: The Keeper of The Key

Japanese Name

鍵守

Romanized Name

Kagi Mori

Volume

7

Release Date

February, 2011 (The Sneaker)

Pages

58

Adaptation

N/A

"The Key-Keeper" is the 4th chapter of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, volume 7. It's divided into seven parts and contains two illustrations. The chapter is labeled as Episode FINAL in the story line, as a way for the author to link the chapter with Episode 00.

A wounded girl named Dalian is looking for a key while being followed by her enemy. Dalian meets Antoinette, a little girl of the Disward family.[1]

Summary[]

A short girl walks along a street of a deserted university town wrapped in fog. She would look like a doll if not by the sinister, vacant expression. Her long hair is covered in dust, her black dress is torn, her flat chest has a large scar. She drags her feet, struggling even to breathe. Her leg can’t support her, so she falls down some stairs. She hits her back and groans in pain. The little girl calls for Hugh.

Part 1[]

Antoinette

Antoinette.

A small, pretty girl with dark gray curls walks along the branches of a tree, outside the house. She jumps on a high stone fence, then to the ground. She accidentally lands on a long-haired girl, who becomes furious. The latter has many scratches and cuts. A big scar is visible on her chest. The long-haired girl reveals that she’s being followed by her enemy. The long-haired girl is looking for a key.

A beautiful blonde woman appears behind the curly-haired girl, who tries to run away. The woman grabs her daughter Antoinette by the collar. The woman also grabs the long-haired girl to examine her. Antoinette’s mother places the long-haired girl under her arm and walks back into the house. The long-haired girl will be fed, and her wounds will be treated. The long-haired girl swings her arms and legs to escape, but fails. She interrogates Antoinette. The latter reveals to be a descendant of Wesley Disward. The long-haired girl introduces herself as Dalian. Antoinette laughs, believing that Dalian is an appropriate name for a cat.

Part 2[]

The servants inside the house run to see Antoinette. They were looking for the little girl. Antoinette’s mother tells the housekeeper to give food and clean clothes to Dalian. Antoinette’s mother is busy, so she leaves the room, followed by her servants. The hobby of Antoinette’s mother is work as a fashion designer. Her day is always a busy one when she has to talk with reporters. Antoinette stays behind with Dalian. The long-haired girl looks at the books that fill the mansion. She recognizes Wesley’s collection. According to Antoinette, the lineage of bibliomaniacs of the Disward family will end. After all, her father had his eyesight damaged, and now he hates books.

The servants appear with a food cart. They tell Dalian that she will eat, then she’ll change her clothes. Antoinette realizes that her mother plans to use Dalian as a model. Antoinette apologizes to Dalian. The long-haired girl starts to eat, but she ignores the fried breads. Soon after, she gets up. Antoinette follows her inside a small room. Dalian pushes a shelf, revealing a secret staircase. Antoinette wonders where the stairs lead to, and how Dalian knows about the secret passage. Dalian affirms that there are things in the world that people shouldn’t know.

Part 3[]

The girls enter a large basement with lamps burning on the walls and stacks of books on the floor. Antoinette’s father never talked about the place. He finds difficult to come to the house and see his wife. He blames himself for not protecting his wife against his envious relatives. Antoinette’s mother is from a rich family of merchants, while Antoinette’s father is from a family of failed aristocrats who care a lot about their reputation. Antoinette lives in the house with her mother, besides Natalia and two or three other servants. For Dalian’s shock, Antoinette reveals that she has no brothers or sisters.

Antoinette wants to understand why Dalian reacted so strangely. Dalian said that there are things in the world that people shouldn’t know. Antoinette’s father usually says that. It’s a phrase commonly uttered by Wesley Disward, the owner of the house. According to Dalian, Wesley created the basement to hide the existence of the Dantalian's Bookshelf. The long-haired girl wants the key that opens the Labyrinth Library. She wants to become the new Biblioprincess. Dalian asks the whereabouts of Hugh Anthony Disward, the key-keeper. She lets out a frantic laughter. She’s interrupted by a blond girl who loudly rushes into the basement, looking for Hugh.

Kamilla admires Antoinette’s mother, so she imitates her gestures and manner of speech. Although Hugh doesn’t like to be photographed, he looks cute like a real girl. Antoinette removes her wig, revealing to be a boy named Hugh. Kamilla brought boy’s clothes for him. Hugh changes clothes. Dalian bursts out laughing. She has finally found Hugh. Now she realizes that the name Antoinette is the feminine version of Anthony. Hugh notices an unusual, old book in her hand. He and Kamilla feel threatened. Kamilla freezes. The world becomes unnaturally silent. Only Hugh and Dalian are able to move. The long-haired girl moves slowly towards him while flipping through the pages of the book.

Part 4[]

Dalian had used the Kairos’ Dynastic History, a Phantom Book that pulls the reader out of the flow of the time, allowing him to control it. She asks for the key, but Hugh knows nothing about it. Dalian’s face distorts in anger. She came from the future, so she knows that Hugh will open the Labyrinth Library today. Hugh runs out of the basement. Dalian slowly follows him. Upstairs, he learns that the servants are also frozen in unnatural poses. Dalian appears in front of him. A horrible wound marks her beautiful face. Hugh has no chance to escape, since the witch rules over time.

She threatens the little boy with Wesley’s revolver, found on the table of the basement. She pulls the trigger. Dalian uses the Phantom Book to slow the bullet and to freeze Hugh. If he refuses to tell where the key is, Dalian will make the bullet pierce his head for a few hours. Then, he will suffer forever, unable to lose consciousness. Dalian’s appearance is changing. Her skin darkens and cracks, releasing dark blood. Her pupils stretch like the ones from a cat. Hugh lets out a sad laugh. He realizes why Dalian is in such a hurry. He heard from Wesley that Phantom Books choose their readers. Those unworthy suffer while reading them. That’s why Dalian is wounded. The girl yells in fury.

Part 5[]

Dalian Final

The real Dalian saves Hugh.

The flow of time returns to normal. The bullet hits the wall. Hugh is unharmed. He had been pushed aside by someone else. The beautiful savior has an old lock hanging on her chest. Hugh asks the wounded little girl if the stranger is the enemy who was following her. The stranger kicks his shin. After all, she’s the real Dalian. Hugh notices sugar in the corner of her lips. Although the real Dalian is a rude and arrogant girl, Hugh feels that she’s not evil. Dalian explains that the impostor is a Dead Book, a bibliomaniac who became a living book. This person probably loved books so much that she was carried away by forbidden knowledge, becoming a Phantom Book herself. The impostor believes that she knows about books more than everyone else and that she deserves to be the new Biblioprincess of the Labyrinth Library.

The impostor reads the Kairos’ Dynastic History. This time, the flow of time remains unchanged. Dalian pulls an identical book from under her arm. She had used her own Kairos’ Dynastic History to save Hugh. The Phantom Books neutralize each other. The fake Dalian aims the revolver at the real one. The impostor knows that Dalian couldn’t bring her key-keeper with her. Dalian has no key-keeper to open the Labyrinth Library, so she can’t threaten the impostor. Hugh pushes Dalian away, saving her from the shot. Dalian places a golden key in Hugh’s hand. The impostor freezes, realizing that Dalian will use the little boy as a key-keeper. The impostor shoots, cutting Hugh’s cheek. He opens the door to the Labyrinth Library on Dalian’s chest.

Part 6[]

The strange world has tens of thousands of literary works. Hugh can only hear the sound of a girl in white turning the pages of a book. She’s sat on some stairs, surrounded by piles of books. She tells him that the place has no name. The first person who got lost in this world called it “Labyrinth Library”. A better name would be “Dantalian's Bookshelf”. Dantalian is the name of the owner of the library. Hugh asks about a familiar, old book next to the girl. The impostor, in the form of a Phantom Book, had been sealed inside the Labyrinth Library. The Dead Book will sleep there until a worthy reader is found. The place is not a palace as the impostor believed. According to the girl in white, the Labyrinth Library is a prison. It’s the dungeon of a terrible monster, and the Biblioprincess is only a sacrifice.

A long time ago, the girl in white opened the library and brought disasters to the world, like in the myth of Pandora. Now the girl in white guards the Phantom Books, preventing them from falling into the hands of unworthy readers. Hugh notices that the girl in white looks like Dalian. Perhaps they are the same person in different worlds. The boy wonders if he can help her out of the prison. The girl in white suggests that he may have a chance in the future, when he finds the key once again. The girl ties a thin, almost invisible thread around the boy’s fingers. She tells him to follow the thread. It will lead him out of the library. Because of the thread, Hugh deduces her name. He hears the sound of a lock. He wakes up.

Part 7[]

Hugh was lying on the sofa of the guest room. Kamilla shouts at his ear to wake him up. He is dressed as a girl once again. He has no wound on his cheek. The plates served for the fake Dalian are gone from the table. It seems like Kamilla forgot about Dalian. Reality had been rewritten. Kamilla tells Hugh to prepare himself for the reporters, otherwise his mother will be angry. Hugh has no key. It still doesn’t belong to him. His memories gradually fade away. He wonders if he had dreamed about today’s adventure. The housekeeper Natalia enters the room. She sadly informs that the fried breads have disappeared. Hugh remembers the sugar on Dalian’s lips. It’s a proof that he wasn’t dreaming. It also explains why Dalian appeared at the very last moment. He wants to tell everything to Kamilla, but the memories were quickly vanishing. He promises to see the Biblioprincess once again.[1]

Trivia[]

  • The chapter shows Hugh entering the Labyrinth Library for the first time.[1]
  • A short version of the meeting between little Hugh and the girl in white is described in Turn-Up Book, a chapter released almost three years before The Key-Keeper. The Dead Book was not mentioned on that occasion.[1][2]
    • In Turn-Up Book, adult Hugh looks for a pet, believing that the name Dalian refers to a cat or a dog.[2] In The Key-Keeper, little Hugh thinks that Dalian is the name of a cat.[1]
  • While the Dead Book is eating, Hugh reads an adventure novel about American boys, a material banned in libraries of the United States.[1] The novel can be a reference to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 19th-century novels written by Mark Twain, both challenged due to coarse language and racial stereotypes.[3]
  • Although the chapter was never entirely adapted, Episode 1 shows a flashback of little Hugh wearing a dress.[4]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 1.
  3. List of most commonly challenged books in the United States. (2020, October 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:14, January 8, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_most_commonly_challenged_books_in_the_United_States&oldid=983189734
  4. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian anime, Episode 1.
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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