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Phantom Book Thief
Chapter 5LN4 infobox
Chapter 5

Extra Episode 03: Der Doppelgänger

Japanese Name

幻書泥棒

Romanized Name

Maboroshi-sho Dorobō

Volume

4

Release Date

January 1, 2010 (volume 4)

Pages

71

Adaptation

N/A

For the character known as "Phantom Book Thief", see Mithril.

"Phantom Book Thief" is the 5th chapter of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, volume 4. It's divided into nine parts and contains one illustration. The chapter is labeled as Extra Episode 03.

The police and newspapers received a letter from Mithril, warning that she will a steal a valuable Phantom Book from Count Ben Arkin. Hal, along with Flamberge, decide to investigate.[1]

Summary[]

Inside a basement with sloping earthen walls, a dim light of a lamp illuminates the corpses and the blood on the floor. They were strong, armed men, who died with terrible wounds. Someone is standing in the middle of the basement, laughing, covered in a bloody robe. Golden hair is peeking out from under the hood. The hooded-person skips around the room, scattering the blood. The killer, using an innocent voice, asks if they will continue to play. The only survivor, a young man seriously wounded, aims a rifle at the enemy. The man, with an expression of hate, shoots the little witch, but only the crimson robe is affected. The target didn’t move. The sorceress, tired of the man, summons terrible creatures to attack. Parts of her cloak turn into black cats, bats, snakes, millipedes and other beasts. With a horrible scream, the man is torn to pieces. The naked girl calmly watches. She inhales the smell of death, bathes in the fury of the deceased. However, that's not enough. She wants to fill a book with more malice. The witch disappears.

Part 1[]

It's getting dark. Hal is driving his motorcycle in a deserted rural landscape, on a winding road leading to a small castle surrounded by a fortress wall. Flamberge is in the sidecar, laughing at Hal’s expense. She opens a newspaper from a few days ago to look the headline about a mysterious thief. Mithril sent a letter to the police and to the local newspaper, warning that she will steal a valuable Phantom Book from the castle of Count Ben Arkin. Flamberge finds funny how Hal believes in such joke. She provokes him, asking if he became Mithril’s fan, or if he wishes to become famous by catching her. However, Hal explains that, as a Book Burning Officer, he's only interested in destroying the Phantom Book. Flamberge affirms that Hal should thank her for trying to make him laugh. After all, it’s said that laughter is good for health.

They are almost at the fort, the walls made of reddish sandstone. It’s not a luxurious place compared to today’s mansions, but the ancient building is impressive. Flamberge heard rumors about the estate. It’s said that a demon was seen on those lands around fifteen to sixteen years ago. Dozen men and women were killed by the Scarlet Robe. People would talk about a giant beast in red garment. Flamberge learned about that from the voices in her head, fragments of memory. The woman laughs.

Part 2[]

Policemen and detectives are in front of the gates. They run to the center of the road to stop Hal. The latter stops the motorcycle, telling them that he has business with the owner of the Reizl Castle. He identifies himself as a Book Burning Officer, for the detective’s confusion. The young detective is shocked by Flamberge’s strange appearance. She explains that Hal is a man with an odd fetish. Inspector Grosseteste intervenes. He seems to know Hal and Flamberge. The inspector is trying to catch Mithril. Grosseteste ensures the detective that the couple has no association with the Phantom Book Thief. The inspector knows that the couple is interested in the Phantom Book, but he affirms that there isn't a single one involved in the case. He tells Hal and Flamberge to leave for today.

Part 3[]

Hal drives along the ramparts and stops when the police is out of sight. Hal had stepped back because Grosseteste is correct. There isn't a guarantee that they will find a Phantom Book there. However, Hal has just found an interesting evidence. At the bottom of the old wall next to him one can distinguish strange patterns. The magical symbols are creating a barrier against outsiders, preventing those uninvited from crossing the fortress. It’s an ancient barrier, perhaps build using knowledge from a Phantom Book. They can’t figure out how the barrier is connected with Mithril’s letter.

That moment, Hal and Flamberge hear screams, probably from the servants in the castle. Running on the ramparts they see a man in red coat, carrying an unconscious girl. Hal removes his staff from the motorcycle. Without releasing the weapon, he accelerates, following the mysterious figure. The latter easily jumps to the ground in front of Hal and Flamberge, as if ignoring gravity. The man is inhumanly fast. Hal manages to overtake him. He stops his motorcycle in front of the monster, blocking the way. The stranger isn’t out of breath. He slowly puts the girl on the ground. Hal lifts his staff at the same time that the monster rushes forward. The man in red jumps to avoid the staff, landing on Hal’s shoulders. The mysterious figure jumps again in the direction of the nearby forest, disappearing. Flamberge wonders if that was the Scarlet Robe.

Part 4[]

Hal and Flamberge return to the castle’s gates, this time carrying Ben Arkin’s unconscious daughter, a fragile, small girl of thirteen to fourteen years old. Hal tells Grosseteste about the encounter. Then, Hal asks permission to drive inside the fortress. Hal and Flamberge are allowed inside. Up close, the castle looks more intimidating. There is a three-story tower with an open window, probably where the girl was abducted. Ben Arkin runs to meet his daughter when Hal drives into the yard. 

Ben calls for a doctor to check his daughter Elisha. The woman is Elisha’s personal doctor. According to Grosseteste, the girl has a poor health. The doctor asks who saved Elisha. The woman had heard about Book Burning Officers before from an old patient. Hal questions Ben. The latter affirms that he doesn't know anything about a Phantom Book in his castle. However, Ben asks Hal to keep an eye on Elisha until the situation returns to normal. Although Ben denies the existence of a Phantom Book, he wants his daughter to be protected from the troubles caused by its magic. Hal accepts such a contradiction, resolved to stay.

Part 5[]

The maids took Hal and Flamberge to the bedroom when Elisha woke up. The girl, who was drinking tea made of medicinal herbs, became a little scared with their presence. The doctor, Yuna, thanks the couple for saving Elisha. Hal ignores the doctor’s held out hand, but she grabs his arm by force in a childish act. Elisha coughs. According to Yuna, the girl always been weak, but her condition worsened over the past six months. Yuna smiles to Elisha, promising to cure her. Elisha also thanks Hal and Flamberge.

The girl describes her kidnapping. Elisha was resting when someone in a red robe appeared. Elisha lost consciousness after smelling some kind of medicine. The castle was surrounded by police and occupied by countless servants. An ordinary person couldn’t pull such a stunt. Elisha doesn’t know why the criminal would kidnap her. She heard rumors about a demon called “Scarlet Robe” abducting young people in that district. Elisha asks if there’s a way to compensate Hal and Flamberge for saving her. Hal asks Elisha to show them the castle’s library. They will have a hard time finding a Phantom Book there. The library is huge, and the police is already investigating the place.

Hal, Flamberge and Elisha approach the library. Suddenly, Flamberge stops. She and Hal can smell blood in the air. Hal runs to the library, kicking the door open. The place has turned into a sea of blood. The policemen’s bodies were torn apart during a terrible massacre. The Scarlet Robe is in the center of the spacious library. Hal can see bloodshot lips and golden locks under the hood of the small person. The villain asks if Hal and Flamberge are a couple of key-keeper and Biblioprincess. Hal identifies himself as a Book Burning Officer. Part of the witch’s cloak turn into a three-headed dog and a snake with bat wings and bird legs. The familiars have fresh blood and scraps of meat on their fangs and claws. Hal opens the Long Lost Library. He uses the power of a Phantom Book to load his staff and shoot a bluish flame. The beasts are consumed by the fire.

Hal shoots a second fireball, aiming at the magician. Her robe is totally burned, but the witch was unharmed. Without the garment, one can see her beautiful snow-white skin and luxurious golden hair. She's identical to Elisha. The witch laughs, affirming that she has no time to deal with Hal. Before totally disappearing, she affirms that soon she will take Elisha's life.

Part 6[]

There's a tense atmosphere in the castle. Six policemen and two servants were killed in the library. Grosseteste requested reinforcements, but that will take some time. Even with more men, they wouldn’t know how to fight the witch. The only certainty is that Mithril and the Scarlet Robe are different people interested in something inside the Reizl Castle. Everyone gathered at Ben’s office to discuss the situation. The Scarlet Robe apparently is a dark creature called “doppelgänger”. It’s said that when a person sees an exact copy of himself, the person will die in a few days. Perhaps that’s why Elisha’s health is deteriorating. The Scarlet Robe can't be Elisha’s other self. The witch may be a doppelgänger using magic from a Phantom Book and trying to consume Elisha. Hal believes that the doppelgänger is someone living inside the castle. After all, he saw an ancient magical barrier on the fortress wall, protecting the place from strangers. Ben is sweating, as if he’s hiding important information.

They hear Elisha’s scream. Hal runs to the guest room. Elisha is on a large couch, under a blanket, scared. She's staring at an old-fashioned dress hanging on the wall. The snow-white fabric now was black, stained with blood. A silver knife was used to fix the dress on the wall. The windows are closed, indicating that the responsible didn’t come from the outside. Grosseteste notices a black griffin on the handle of the knife. It's another warning from Mithril.

Part 7[]

The basement steel door was hidden under a layer of dry earth. Ben reveals that the Scarlet Robe is his younger sister Hildegard Arkin. The Scarlet Robe first appeared fifteen to sixteen years ago, when Hildegard had the same age as Elisha. Ben killed her sister thirteen years ago, imprisoning her inside the basement. She used to be a kind girl, but she became possessed by her father’s Phantom Books. She would increase her power by killing the locals.

A young detective breaks the chains and opens the door. He backs away from the entrance, struggling with nausea. The floor is covered with skeletons. Elisha knows nothing about that. She had just been born when it happened. Due to Hildegard’s atrocities, Ben had no choice but to lock her inside the basement with the Phantom Books. Deep into the basement, they see the skeleton of a small girl on a bed, wearing the same dress hanged by Mithril moments ago. It's Hildegard’s remains.

Hildengard

Hildegard, as Elisha's doppelgänger, picks up the Decorative Plywood of Merneith on the floor.

A small, blonde girl appears in the basement. At first, Ben thinks he’s looking at Elisha. However, Hal pushes him back, raising his staff to confront Hildegard. She picks up an old book from the ground. Hal recognizes the Decorative Plywood of Merneith. Right after her death, Hildegard used the Phantom Book to move her soul into Elisha. Hildegard wants to consume Elisha’s body in order to have a complete resurrection. It doesn’t matter that Elisha is Ben and Hildegard’s daughter. Ben collapses, screaming in despair. Hildegard grabs the dress covering her corpse. The bloody fabric turns into ugly creatures such as panthers, ravens and black goats. Grosseteste asks for Hal’s help.

Hal once again uses a Phantom Book from the Long Lost Library to charge his staff and shoot at the beasts. The fireball destroyed the animals, but stopped at Hildegard. At that dark basement, she could summon an invisible wall to stop Hal’s attacks. More creatures appear from the witch’s shadow, surrounding everyone, blocking the exit. The enemies are too much. Soon, the magic of the Phantom Book on Hal’s staff will be exhausted. Hildegard laughs while watching Hal roll over the filthy floor, dodging the familiars. She will absorb his flesh and blood, then tear Flamberge’s stomach to take all the Phantom Books inside the Long Lost Library.

The witch’s laugh suddenly stops. During the confrontation, someone took the Phantom Book from her hands. The young detective, Grosseteste’s subordinate, shows her a mischievous smile while holding the Decorative Plywood of Merneith. The witch’s panther responds to her anger, jumping towards the man. He removes a silver knife from his pocket. He manages to wound the panther, which disappears. Hildegard realizes that the knife is made of mithril, a phantom metal which can cast out evil. The man is not a detective. She's Mithril, the Phantom Book Thief. She's now wearing a faceless mask. Other familiars rush at her, answering Hildegard’s anger, but the thief shows inhuman skills while dodging the attacks. Hal is disgusted, because he knows that such dexterity is only possible with the power of a Phantom Book

Mithril asks what’s a duty of a Book Burning Officer. Hal requests another Phantom Book from Flamberge, loading it to his staff. Mithril throws the Decorative Plywood of Merneith at Hal. Hildegard screams, realizing what's about to happen. From that distance, she can't use her barrier. She screams, making all her beasts rush towards Hal. He uses the blue fire from his staff to burn the Phantom Book, Hildegard and her creatures.

Part 8[]

Grosseteste registered the skeletons found in the basement as victims of Hildegard, a serial killer. Her Phantom Book and supernatural powers were never made public. Ben was accused of murdering his sister and hiding the crime. The Count gathered his courage and collaborated with the investigation. Mithril disappeared in the confusion. The thief was pretending to be a detective, who was later found unconscious in the pantry. The detective had seen the bones in the basement and ran to a corner, feeling nauseous. He didn’t remember what happened next.

The corpses had already been removed from the basement. There, Yuna was looking at an old portrait. Hal and Flamberge surprise her. Hal is there to finish what he started. After all, he knows that Mithril didn’t come for the Decorative Plywood of Merneith. Hildegard had planned to steal Elisha’s body sooner or later. The witch had no reason to kidnap Elisha. Furthermore, Hildegard was a powerful magician, so it made no sense the way Elisha had lost consciousness after smelling medicinal herbs. The responsible for Elisha’s kidnapping is Mithril. The thief wanted Elisha to be rescued by Hal. That way, Ben would invite Hal to the castle to protect the little girl. Mithril’s warning letter was also sent to attract a Book Burning Officer. Mithril did everything to gain access to Hildegard’s basement.

Hal grabs the portrait, sliding it to the side. A small, secret room is revealed, filled with books. It's the Phantom Book collection of Ben’s grandfather. Mithril had used the police to open the basement, and Hal to get rid of Hildegard. The fortress has a magical, protective barrier, allowing only those invited to enter. Mithril can only be someone living in the castle. Hal points his staff at Yuna, exposing her as the thief Mithril. Elisha’s personal doctor was also the Scarlet Robe abductor and the young detective at the basement. She removes a mask with no features from her breast pocket. The Faceless Book allows her to possess different forms and to obtain supernatural abilities. Hal wants to destroy the Phantom Book. He attacks Mithril, but she easily jumps over him, avoiding the blow. Mithril isn't interested in those Phantom Books. She turns to the entrance, waving her hand. Mithril tells Hal to not burn himself with his staff. The thief disappears. According to Hal, to be consumed by fire is the fate of a Book Burning Officer, and his own desire. Flamberge looks at Hal with a sad expression.

Part 9[]

It's getting dark. Hal starts his motorcycle, when someone approaches him. Elisha is quickly recovering, now that her doppelgänger is gone. She doesn't know exactly what happened at the basement. Hal tells her that he burned the Phantom Books in the basement, so Mithril won't return. Elisha wants to thank Mithril. Elisha knows about Yuna’s identity. However, the doctor kept her promise. Elisha is now cured. The little girl, for a moment, notices a smile on Hal's face. Hal drives his motorcycle along the bumpy road. Flamberge had also noticed his smile. She provokes the grumpy man.[1]

Trivia[]

  • A doppelgänger is a look-alike or double of a living person, sometimes portrayed as a ghostly or paranormal phenomenon and usually seen as a harbinger of bad luck.[2]
  • It's the first chapter showing a key-keeper opening a Phantom Book library twice.[1]
  • A mother trying to use her daughter's body is a theme in Ico, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic and other stories.

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 5, volume 4.
  2. Doppelgänger. (2020, April 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:43, April 25, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Doppelg%C3%A4nger&oldid=952595540
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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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