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Hugh Anthony Disward
Huey

Japanese Name

ヒュー・アンソニー・ディスワード

Romanized Name

Hyū Ansonī Disuwādo

Nickname(s)/Alias(es)

Huey (ヒューイ Hyūi)

Antoinette (アントワネット Antowanetto)

Pilot Officer (少尉 Shōi or 少尉殿 Shōi-dono)

Debut

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

Ward

Dalian

Voice actor

小野 大輔 (adult)
Daisuke Ono
花澤 香菜 (child)
Kana Hanazawa

Status

Alive

Main chapters[]

In chronological order:

The Key-Keeper[]

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. 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. Antoinette was trying to run away from her mother. Antoinette was caught, but she knew that she wouldn’t be punished. The blonde 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. Antoinette affirms that it’s useless to fight her mother’s whims. The long-haired girl 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.

The servants inside the house run to see Antoinette. They were looking for the little girl. The housekeeper tells Antoinette to not leave the mansion without permission. 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. Antoinette explains that the hobby of her mother is to work as a fashion designer. The day of Antoinette’s mother is always a busy one when she has to talk with reporters.

Antoinette stays behind with Dalian. Antoinette reads an adventure novel. 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. Antoinette is glad to have access to those books. Otherwise, she would have died of boredom long ago.

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. Antoinette affirms that Dalian won’t be able to run away. After eating, the long-haired girl 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.

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. According to Antoinette, 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. While talking about her family, Antoinette picks up a model of an airplane. She loved to look at her father’s drawings and models. Now, Antoinette doesn’t hate her father, but she doesn’t respect him. Sadly, she thinks that the good old days will never return.

Antoinette reveals that she lives in the house with her mother, besides Natalia and two or three other servants. Antoinette also says that she has no brothers or sisters. Dalian shakes her head in bewilderment. Antoinette wants to understand why Dalian reacted so strangely. Dalian had 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. Antoinette heard about the depository of forbidden knowledge. The long-haired girl wants the key that opens it. 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 affirms that, although Hugh doesn’t like to be photographed, he looks cute like a real girl. Antoinette removes her wig in embarrassment, revealing to be a boy named Hugh. Kamilla brought boy’s clothes for him. Hugh changes clothes. He’s angry because he almost had to pose like a girl because Kamilla was late. 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.

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 Dantalian’s Bookshelf today. Hugh runs out of the basement. He doesn’t want to expose Kamilla to danger. Dalian slowly follows him. Upstairs, he learns that the servants are also frozen in unnatural poses. Hugh wonders if everything will go back to normal once Dalian lose sight of him. However, 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.

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 Dalian if the stranger who saved him is the enemy who was following her. The stranger kicks his shin. After all, she’s the real Dalian. He finds funny the fact that she has 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.

The impostor reads the Kairos’ Dynastic History. Since the real Dalian also has her own Kairos’ Dynastic History, 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 Dantalian’s Bookshelf, 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. Dalian will allow Hugh to use it today. She tells him to take an oath. Hugh reads the words inscribed on the shaft of the key. 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 Dantalian’s Bookshelf on Dalian’s chest.

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 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 Dantalian’s Bookshelf. The Dead Book will sleep there until a worthy reader is found.

The Dantalian’s Bookshelf is not a palace as the impostor believed. According to the girl in white, the place is a prison. The girl in white talks about her past. Hugh notices that she looks like Dalian. Perhaps they are the same person in different worlds. Hugh asks if she feels lonely. She affirms that she has already forgotten this feeling. 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.

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]

The Mystic Archives of Rasiel[]

Episode 11 intro (2)

Ilas and Hugh.

Flight lieutenant Ilas Alcock is watching a simulated dogfight between two Allied airplanes. He’s surprised to know that the pilot with the upper hand is a rookie, a Pilot Officer who just left flight school. Ilas approaches the rookie as soon as he lands the Camel in front of the hangar. The rookie with lonely eyes is rude and hostile towards the Flight lieutenant. Hugh asks how many enemies he had shot down. Hugh affirms that he will surpass his score in three months. However, the veteran affirms that he has no interest in number of kills, considering himself an aircraft pilot rather than a warmaker. Hugh watches stunned as the Flight lieutenant walks towards the dormitory with his poetry collection in hands.

They confront each other in a dogfight months later. Ilas is now a captain opposing the Allies. Ilas is known as the legendary Faceless Ghost. Hugh shoots down Ilas’ wingmen. Hugh quickly responds to Ilas' approach. They pass each other using their machine guns menacingly. Hugh is shocked after recognizing his former superior. Ilas can read the minds of other pilots. He knows that Hugh is wondering why Ilas is inside an enemy airplane. Ilas predicts Hugh’s movements. Ilas prepares to put an end to the opponent, when he witnesses an unexpected move. The Camel turns to the right, avoiding the bullets. This model of aircraft has the habit of going clockwise when the control stick is released. Hugh had probably panicked for a moment. Hugh flies out of range, indicating the end of the battle.

The next day, Ilas’ airbase is attacked. The airplanes of Ilas’ crew are destroyed in a brutal surprise attack from a familiar Camel. Ilas and Hugh engage in an incredible dogfight, both showing amazing skills. Ilas has a ferocious smile in his face, until he hears the sad and nostalgic voice of the young man opposing him. Hugh explains that, during a vacation in his hometown, Ilas was involved in an attack from a railway gun. Ilas died on that occasion. Ilas doesn’t believe in what the young man is saying. Ilas moves behind the Camel, preparing to shoot. Unexpectedly, Hugh maneuvers to the right, starting a counterattack. Ilas misses the target, reacting too late. It’s the first time that he’s being chased like that. Ilas recalls the past, when he was a pilot in the Allied army. After Ilas’ death, Hugh inherited his first poetry collection. It seems like they can read each other’s mind.

Hugh tries to shake Ilas off with a sudden drop, exploring the strong structure of his airplane. Ilas follows him, ready to use his machine gun. But at the last moment, when they were less than a thousand feet away from the ground, Ilas’ airplane is hit by a shell, a friendly fire coming from an anti-aircraft gun. Hugh was an easy target at such altitude, but he prevailed with an illogical and reckless choice, a strategy a pilot must never employ. Now Ilas’ airplane was in a difficult situation, wrecked and in a lower position. Nevertheless, Ilas follows his instincts and resumes the combat. He hears the young man bidding farewell with a heavy heart. The bullets penetrate the fuselage of Ilas’ airplane. The triplane falls down, enveloped in flames. It’s revealed that Ilas was resurrected by Rasiel and the Professor, who were trying to create a new Phantom Book. Now that Ilas failed, the couple allows him to rest in peace. Rasiel and the Professor express their interest in the pilot of the Camel, the young man who was able to read an incomplete Phantom Book. The Professor is certain that they will meet someday.

Inside an Allied hangar, Hugh is destroying a thick book of poems. A mechanic offers to incinerate the Pilot Officer's items the next time, since fire is strictly prohibited around there. While cleaning the place, the mechanic happily congratulates Hugh for obtaining the highest score and beating the Faceless Ghost. However, Hugh bluntly affirms that it was just a rumor. He walks away after giving a small package to the mechanic so he can have it incinerated. The latter is surprised because Hugh wants to dispose of his medal of merit. Hugh explains that he is an aircraft pilot, not a warmaker. Hugh's eyes show sorrow and loneliness. As he looks to the sky, a key hangs in front of his chest.[2]

Turn-Up Book[]

As a child, Hugh finds himself inside a labyrinthine library. He asks the girl in white about the place. She reveals that the place is known as Dantalian's Bookshelf. Hugh wonders if the girl is called Dantalian.

Years later, Hugh is back from the Great War. He received a letter informing about his grandfather's death. According to the will, Hugh can have Wesley’s assets, including a mansion. However, Hugh must accept to guard something called "Dantalian’s Bookshelf". He also must take care of Dalian. He tries to use a golden key to enter the mansion, but fails. After trying a bunch of common keys, he gains access to the mansion. He sighs while examining the dilapidated place. He investigates the dusty mansion and finds a secret basement. There, among Wesley’s collection of books, he sees a beautiful doll. Soon after he realizes that she’s Dalian, a grumpy petite girl and Wesley’s friend. Hugh thought that the name “Dalian” referred to a pet. Dalian kicks Hugh’s shin for that.

Hugh wants to talk in the kitchen, but Dalian seems afraid. She only accepts to leave the basement after smelling the bun in Hugh’s pocket. Dalian notices Hugh’s skills while preparing the tea. Hugh identifies himself as an ordinary pilot rather than a soldier. Hugh affirms that he wants to live off his grandfather’s inheritance instead of returning to university. Hugh is the only relative of Wesley who is not afraid of the cursed books supposedly owned by the late bibliomaniac. Hugh is disappointed in Wesley’s collection. Hugh was expecting more from the mythical Dantalian’s Bookshelf. Dalian affirms that Hugh knows nothing. Dalian mentions the tale of the “heaven in the pot” to explain the Dantalian’s Bookshelf. Hugh laughs, deeming everything she says as fiction.

A footman appears to take Hugh to the mansion of Henry Conrad. It’s said that Conrad killed Wesley to obtain a valuable book, but the police never found proof. Hugh accepted Conrad’s invitation in order to investigate the case. There’s no one to welcome them once they reach Conrad's mansion. The footman enters the mansion to find someone. Hugh follows Dalian inside the mansion. The couple learns that the footman was killed by a clown. Hugh uses his revolver, a memento from Wesley, to shoot the clown. Later, Hugh also has to shoot a tiger. From Dalian, Hugh learns about the Phantom Books, especially about The Harlequinade, which is releasing circus animals and performers inside the mansion. The Phantom Book must be sealed inside the Dantalian’s Bookshelf.

Hugh and Dalian head to Conrad's study so they can seal The Harlequinade, but they are stopped by a dragon, a creature representing the circus’ freak show. Hugh pulls Dalian by the hand, avoiding the dragon’s attacks. Hugh tells Dalian to go seal the Phantom Book while he stays behind to distract the monster. Hugh feels responsible for the trouble caused by Wesley’s book. Dalian gives Hugh the right to open the Dantalian’s Bookshelf. She tells him to read the words of the contract. Hugh reads the words on the shaft of his golden key. He opens the Dantalian’s Bookshelf. Dalian grabs the Book of Fairy from the void opened on her chest. Dalian uses the Phantom Book to defeat the dragon.

At Conrad’s study, Dalian gives The Harlequinade to Hugh. He pushes the Phantom Book into the void on Dalian’s chest, sealing it inside the Dantalian’s Bookshelf. Now Hugh has the golden key sealed inside his right hand. Hugh recognizes Dalian as the “heaven in the pot”. Hugh remembers the day when he lost himself in the library. There, he met a girl who gave him the golden key. Hugh promised that he would be her friend and that he would free her. Hugh and Dalian are ready to leave the mansion before the police shows up. Hugh offers his hand to Dalian. Thereafter, Hugh acted as the key-keeper and guardian of Dalian and the Dantalian’s Bookshelf.[3]

Gastronomy Worship[]

Hugh and Dalian were invited to a dinner party at the mansion of the renowned gourmet Graham Atkinson. Hugh’s car has stopped. He had no tools to fix his car. Luckily, a carriage draws closer. Hugh and Dalian meet Leslie, one of Atkinson’s servants. Leslie offers a ride to Hugh and Dalian. When they enter the mansion, a noble-looking man approaches the couple. The stranger tells Hugh and Dalian about the incredible cooking skills of Atkinson’s chef.

Hugh and Dalian have a meeting with Atkinson, so the couple walks to the library. There, Hugh recognizes some rare books. Atkinson was expecting such knowledge from the grandson of the late bibliomaniac Wesley Disward. Atkinson reveals his passion for gourmet food. He knows that Hugh inherited the Dantalian's Bookshelf from Wesley. Atkinson wants a Phantom Book containing forbidden knowledge about the ultimate dish. Hugh reveals that the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking had already been borrowed from Wesley. Hugh read on Wesley’s diary that the Phantom Book should return to the Dantalian’s Bookshelf that night.

Hugh and Dalian go to the kitchen to find Atkinson’s chef. Leslie reveals herself as the chef. She guides them to her room, where she would return the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking. Since Leslie still has the ultimate dish to serve, she tricks Hugh and Dalian. Leslie throws a mysterious powder over Hugh. She also locks Hugh and Dalian inside the room. Hugh uses his revolver to open the door. The powder covering Hugh attracts the people around. The strangers look at Hugh, as if he’s a delicious dish. Hugh opens the Dantalian’s Bookshelf to grab the Hezār Afsān, which he uses to put everyone to sleep.

Back to the library, Hugh and Dalian witness Leslie serving Atkinson with his own brain. According to the chef, the brain experiencing delicious food is the most precious ingredient for gourmet food. Leslie gives the Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking to Dalian. At the Atkinson estate, Hugh finds some parts to fix his car. While he’s performing the maintenance, a man in a small cart gives some potatoes to Dalian. Hugh manages to fix the vehicle. He asks some potatoes to Dalian, but she refuses to share.[4]

Pedigree[]

Hugh wants to leave the pub, but Dalian wants to eat more. From the owner, he learns that the place is crowded because men are searching the region for the Beast of Ashwell, apparently a monster who killed Leonard Ashwell and his family. Ashwell was a lawyer who represented the workers who lost their jobs at the factory of Roy Hurston. Hugh wants to leave immediately. After all, he and Dalian have a meeting with the unpopular Hurston family. Hugh drags Dalian out of the pub.

At the Hurston estate, Hugh and Dalian meet the gentle Chez and the arrogant Roy. Chez mentions the beauty of the Biblioprincess. Dalian looks at Hugh triumphantly, but the latter affirms that Chez is only being polite. Dalian kicks Hugh’s shin for such remark. While shaking his hand, Hugh notices that Chez’s palm is rough like a servant’s, although he’s the son of a rich family. Dalian affirms that she has a Phantom Book for Chez’s grandfather, Boyd Hurston. The old man wouldn’t last long, so he has to show The Pedigree of All Creations to the new head of the family.

Dalian and a puppy

Hugh laughs while watching the puppy chasing Dalian.

Hugh and Dalian spend the afternoon in the garden. He watches Chez rolling in the grass with several puppies. Chez trains the hunting dogs of the family. Hugh laughs while watching Dalian afraid of the small and playful animals. Roy shows up and reveals that The Pedigree of All Creations has the knowledge about how to achieve superior crossbreeds. That’s how the Hurston family succeed in obtaining the best hunting dogs. The Phantom Book was also used by Boyd to create Roy and Chez, individuals with superior characteristics. Hugh and Dalian discuss about the possible involvement of the Hurston family in the Ashwell massacre. However, they are unable to reach a conclusion.

Late at night, Hugh and Dalian are guided to Boyd’s workroom. Boyd asks Hugh to open a thick metallic door leading to a chamber resembling a laboratory. There, the old man reveals that Chez is the superior being chosen to be the new head of the Hurston family. Hugh suddenly pushes Dalian to the ground. Roy breaks an oil lamp to destroy the laboratory. He can’t accept Boyd’s decision. Roy shoots his grandfather. Roy’s next target is Dalian. Hugh stands in front of her, drawing his own revolver. Standing between them, Chez is shot twice by Roy. Hugh shoots Roy’s wrist, making him drop his gun. Hugh points his revolver, urging Roy to stop moving. An explosion partially destroys the laboratory when the fire from the oil lamp reaches some chemicals.

Dalian slaps Hugh’s face to wake him up. He stops her hand and slowly gets up. He notices a monster in the shadows. Hugh points his gun. Dalian tells him not to shoot. Hugh realizes that the beast is Chez Hurston, who’s supporting the ceiling. They look up at Roy, who is pouring combustible inside the destroyed laboratory. Roy plans to burn Hugh, Dalian and Chez to death. Hugh opens the Dantalian's Bookshelf to grab a Phantom Book, which he uses to move in space. Hugh, Dalian and Chez appear behind Roy. Dalian deduces that Roy used the Hurston dogs to kill the Ashwells. Roy admits his crime and uses a knife to kill himself. Dalian tries to give The Pedigree of All Creations to Chez. He would be able to return to his human form by using the Phantom Book. However, Chez runs away from the policemen while carrying the body of his own brother.

The next morning, Hugh and Dalian take a train to the capital. From a newspaper, he learns that Chez is still missing. Roy was not indicted for his actions. Dalian is in a bad mood since Chez had refused to take The Pedigree of All Creations. Hugh deduces that Chez didn’t want to drag her into the confrontation. Hugh tells Dalian not to worry. If Chez is alive, he will eventually meet them again and accept the Phantom Book. Hugh removes a small flower from his coat pocket. It’s a blue rose created by the Hurstons, the only specimen who escaped the fire.[5]

Book of Wisdom[]

Dalian wakes Hugh up before sunrise. She tells him that they will visit the used bookstore at the capital. There, Hugh refuses to buy entire bookshelves for Dalian, like Wesley used to do. Furious, the Biblioprincess reveals the plot of every book Hugh shows interest in. Kamilla interrupts their bickering. Kamilla is Hugh’s childhood friend. Hugh didn’t contact her after returning from the war. Kamilla wonders if Dalian is Hugh’s daughter. However, Kamilla is only joking. She knows that Dalian is the girl adopted by Wesley. Kamilla invites them for tea. She wonders if Hugh ever found the Dantalian's Bookshelf he used to search for as a child. Hugh feigns ignorance. Hugh learns that Kamilla's rival has a school with very wise kids who obtained knowledge through a Phantom Book, having also a change in personality.

Accompanied by Dalian, Hugh goes to Mildred’s house to investigate. There, they hear how Mildred regrets obtaining that book. She tells them to speak directly with the children, whom 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 guardians of the Dantalian’s Bookshelf. Hugh was worried about what the children would do with their absolute wisdom. However, the children affirm that they will continue to live quietly. Hugh leaves the place and uses his lighter to burn the Book of Wisdom. He concludes that geniuses are not those smart, but those with determination, who succeed against the odds. Hugh and Dalian return to Kamilla’s villa.[6]

The Briar Princess[]

Hugh and Dalian walk up a bumpy and neglected slope. The young man is unable to drive his car in such an uneven road. He has to carry Dalian’s heavy luggage, and she still tells him to carry her on his back. He’s shocked to know that Dalian packed books since she doesn’t want to get bored in the mountains. She suggests to carry the luggage while Hugh carries her. He doesn't even bother to answer her. The couple sees a young girl nearby. Hugh reveals that they plan to visit her village to search for a book. The herbalist Talia invites them to her house, located in the land once owned by John Carabosse.

Hugh heard that a merchant who traded with John Carabosse saw the latter’s daughter, Florence, at the foot of the mountain one month ago. The woman is thought to have set fire on her father’s house. The herbalist suspects that Hugh wants to arrest Florence, but he reveals that he is only after the Deep Green Book, an important item purchased by John Carabosse. The merchant mentioned before has seen it in Florence’s hands. Hugh vaguely distinguishes the silhouette of a woman by the window inside the villa where Florence is supposed to be. He wonders if she’s the owner of a Phantom Book.

Hugh and Dalian leave their baggage at Talia’s house to wander around the village. Hugh makes small talk with a farmer. The latter advices them to avoid checking the castle of Florence, the Briar Princess, during the night. They may never return from the northern forest. Later, Hugh mentions how odd that village is. It’s too small to survive by itself, although there are no signs of interaction with the outside world. The couple reaches the Carabosse's villa. The front door is blocked by thorny vines. Corpses are entangled in the mess of plants. Hugh finds an axe and uses the tool to open a path to the entrance of the villa. He uses his lighter to illuminate the dark interior.

At the top of the tower, Hugh and Dalian find the body of a young, long-haired girl, about the same age as Talia. The couple are attacked by thorny vines. Hugh drags Dalian down the stairs. A braided vine grabs his foot, but it's quickly sliced with an axe blow. He avoids more vines that rush towards them. Their path is eventually blocked, so Hugh has no choice but to jump through a window. While carrying Dalian, he lands on the courtyard below. He keeps running. He throws the axe at the vines, but the tool is immediately covered, the handle crushed into many splinters. They finally escape the danger after clearing a wall that had just collapsed. Before Hugh can catch his breath, he notices someone nearby.

Talia uses the Deep Green Book to summon a dense fog. Hugh requests a Phantom Book to Dalian, but they don’t know which one would be useful in such situation. Strong farmers wielding sharp pronged tools show up to threaten Hugh and Dalian. Hugh tries to talk to them to no avail. He prepares to use the revolver under his coat, although his bullets won’t be enough to fight such numbers. However, the farmers stop moving. They drop their weapons. They quickly age. Hugh grasps Dalian’s hand and enters a dark forest. Hugh and Dalian find themselves in a beautiful plain, back next to the villa that had been covered by vines. Talia finally reveals herself as the daughter of John Carabosse. The real Talia is the womanly figure inside the observatory room. Florence couldn’t accept the fact that her own father visited the village only to see his lover Talia.

When Florence opened the Phantom Book once again, Hugh and Dalian ended up surrounded by cliffs as a large canyon was opened in the ground. At that moment, Dalian gives Hugh the right to open the Dantalian's Bookshelf. The Biblioprincess finally discovered that Florence’s Phantom Book allows its user to create illusionary landforms to confuse intruders. Hugh reads the Ritual of Reality to break the illusions. Back to the gentle slope of grass, Florence stands in shock, letting the Phantom Book slip from her hands. Hugh gently picks it up from the ground. Florence runs towards her villa, only to fall directly down a cliff that she fails to notice.

The next day, Hugh gets up at dawn to make a simple grave for Florence near the villa. Dalian places a seed of a wild rose on top of the grave. Hugh predicts that, in a few years, Florence’s burial site will be covered with flowers. The couple leaves the village. Dalian took many ancient tomes from Talia’s house, so now Hugh has more luggage to carry. The Biblioprincess offers to help him if he carries her in his back. Hugh asks if she takes him for an idiot.[7]

Queen of the Night[]

Hugh finds Dalian inside the glasshouse of the Disward estate, watering a huge and rare cactus, imported from Africa. He learns that the plant will bloom in that same night, an event that takes 13 years. Hugh had received some chocolates from Kamilla. Dalian tells Hugh to prepare the tea. Two men from the Gladstone Company appear at the door, talking about a delivery for Wesley Disward. 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 at Dalian. Hugh doesn’t carry his revolver inside the mansion, so he has no choice but to surrender.

Hugh and Dalian are tied with ropes while the criminals look for The Queen of the Night, supposedly a valuable book. Hugh had heard about the Gladstone Company. One of the criminals damages one of Dalian’s book. Hugh is threatened and beaten with a gun by the brown-haired man. Blood trickles down Hugh’s face. Dalian worries about him. Hugh tries to hide the pain with a smile. The criminals leave to check the glasshouse. Hugh and Dalian hear the criminals screaming. Hugh manages to release himself and Dalian using his lighter. At the glasshouse, Hugh finds the brown-haired man's gun on the ground. Hugh learns that the cactus that Dalian was watering is called "The Queen of the Night", and that the plant ate the criminals. Dalian affirms that the criminals deserve their fate for hurting something she likes. Hugh believes that Dalian is referring to the book.[8]

Book of Equivalence[]

Before Hugh can answer the door, Kamilla enters the Disward mansion. Hugh affirms that she’s too old to be that excited. Kamilla feels insulted. Hugh knows Kamilla’s temper, so he lowers his head, as if apologizing. She has some pastries for Dalian. The latter tells Hugh to prepare the tea. Kamilla planned to give something else to Dalian, but she changed her mind. Dalian is examining a book about auctions. Kamilla notices how Dalian seems interested in a teddy bear. Coming back with a teapot, Hugh is kicked by Dalian after questioning the value of the items. Kamilla asks Hugh to give her something. Reluctantly, he searches inside his pocket and finds a paper clip. She suddenly leaves the mansion, making Hugh and Dalian confused.

In the afternoon, Hugh and Dalian visit a used bookstore. While studying the shelves nearby, Dalian offers Hugh’s internal organs in exchange for any interesting book. Hugh takes a letter from the pocket of his coat. Two days ago, the old man, owner of the bookstore, sent a message informing them about a Phantom Book he obtained. Previously, the old man was surprised knowing that Hugh became Dalian’s key-keeper. The old man remembers seeing a three-year-old Hugh crying, lost in Wesley’s library. The comment makes Hugh uncomfortable. The old man searches the desk next to the checkout. He realizes that he sold the Phantom Book by accident. Hugh and Dalian learn that the old man sold the Book of Equivalence to Kamilla. The couple leaves the bookstore to look for her.

Hugh drives to one of the Keynes’ houses. They are greeted by one of the employees, a long-term servant who’s acquainted with Hugh. The employee informs that Kamilla returned, but she left again a while ago. Hugh and Dalian deduce that Kamilla is using the Book of Equivalence to make a series of trades. They resume their search for Kamilla. They returned to the Disward estate after trying to track Kamilla past midnight. Dalian wonders if Hugh can follow Kamilla’s scent like a dog. Hugh smiles, noticing how Dalian is worried about Kamilla. He’s kicked after witnessing Dalian's cheeks flushing. Hugh tries to comfort Dalian, saying that Kamilla won’t be bartering during the night. He places his hand on Dalian’s head.

Suddenly, someone shows up behind him. Kamilla was sleeping in the garden, waiting for the couple. She takes a stuffed bear from her bag and gives it to Dalian. Kamilla had gone to Mr. Fieron's mansion to negotiate. She offered the Phantom Book itself in exchange for the teddy bear. Hugh wonders if Kamilla is happy after giving away the valuable Book of Equivalence. Kamilla affirms that she found what she really wanted. She looks at Dalian, who’s happily hugging the teddy bear.[9]

Book of Fetus[]

Hugh and Dalian walk through a difficult route to find the Lilburn mansion. A landslide is blocking the main road, so Hugh is unable to drive. Miss Estella Lilburn sent a request to Wesley Disward. She included advance payment in the letter. Hugh had no choice but to accept the job in his place. Hugh must determine the value of the library of Estella’s late grandfather. Since Dalian is afraid of heights, she holds Hugh’s hand while crossing an old bridge.

Estella welcomes the couple. Hugh explains that he’s replacing Wesley, who died half a year ago. She shows the guest room to Hugh and Dalian. Estella is living by herself. She strangely affirms that she was waiting for him. At the study of Elvis Lilburn, Hugh examines the impressive collection. Dalian uses Hugh as a stepladder to reach a book. She’s in a bad mood, jealous of Estella’s beauty. Hugh admits that Estella is pretty, and that the chignon hairstyle suits her.

Hugh learns from Martin Geese, Estella's cousin, that she’s isolated in that mansion due to a curse from a Phantom Book. The curse kills everyone that tries to take her away from that place. Hugh eventually finds clippings that confirm something strange happening around the Lilburn family. At midnight, Hugh sees Martin and Estella outside, walking together like a couple. Hugh wants to sleep, but Dalian refuses to leave his room. She also doesn’t allow Hugh to enter her room. Hugh smiles, suspecting that Dalian is afraid of sleeping alone due to the Lilburn curse. 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, but the bullets have no effect. Before Hugh can open the Dantalian's Bookshelf, the Golem disappears into the darkness.

In the morning, Hugh is woken up by Dalian. She informs that the bridge collapsed. Dalian also tells Hugh about golems and the Phantom Books used to control such creatures. Hugh grabs his coat, only to discover that Dalian put a heavy book into his pocket. Hugh follows her to the library. Estella shows up to serve them lunch. She doesn’t lament Martin’s death, since she still has Hugh. However, he affirms that he will leave tomorrow, after the landslide is cleaned up. Estella stabs Hugh, but he’s protected by the book in his pocket. Estella explains that she kills people to make them unable to leave her alone.

The Golem appears. Hugh opens the Dantalian’s Bookshelf. The girl in white gives him the two Phantom Books that he’ll need. She tells him to go away before the gate is closed. Hugh wonders if they can go out together. However, the girl in white affirms that the library is her world. She doesn’t admit that she feels lonely there. Hugh walks away, annoyed. Back to the outer world, he uses the Book of Styx to summon a shield and The Clay Tablet of Ugarit to summon a lightning attack. Hugh is exhausted from using two tomes, but the Golem is still moving. Dalian explains that the Golem will stop only after the 72 Sacred Notes of the Shem-ha-mephorash is destroyed. Hugh realizes that this Phantom Book exists in the form of the bell ringings coming from the mansion's clock tower. Hugh and Dalian read The Clay Tablet of Ugarit to summon a second lightning attack. The clock tower is destroyed and the Golem is defeated. Hugh leaves the collapsing mansion with Dalian.

It was difficult to find their way around the mountainous path. They also had to answer the police. Hugh and Dalian return to the Disward estate after a week. He asks Dalian about the Lilburn curse. She deduces that perverse methods were used to raise the Lilburn women, explaining why they tended to violence. Elvis Lilburn had used the Golem to hide the evidences of the women’s crimes. Hugh wonders what’s wrong with Dalian’s hair. She had tried to mimic Estella's hairstyle. Furious, Dalian loosens her hair, but Hugh affirms that she had a cute bun. For her shock, he grabs the last chocolate cookie. He asks if Dalian feels lonely. She insults him in anger. Hugh laughs and walks away with the empty box of cookies.[10]

Book of Soul Exchange[]

Dantalian00012

Hugh and Dalian meet Paula.

Hugh bought the first two books from the Crown of the Dog Days trilogy in order to investigate why the author, Lenny Lents, sent a letter to Wesley Disward asking for help. Hugh and Dalian head to Lenny’s residence and find a woman that presents herself as the author’s wife, Paula Lents. Hugh notices that Paula was removing blood from an axe. Hugh can see Lenny’s silhouette through a window. Paula agrees to arrange a meeting the next day.

Hugh drives to an empty villa. He uses an axe to break the door. He will leave some money for the repair and for the accommodation. Hugh and Dalian discuss how the woman they just met is a fake, since everyone knew that Lenny’s wife has already passed away. At night, Hugh and Dalian investigate Lenny’s house. They see Paula leaving a barn, holding a poker. Soon after, Hugh and Dalian sneak into the barn, which looks like a torture room. They can smell blood in the air. They find Lenny’s disfigured body and a captivated woman called Leticia Serkis, the author’s lover. She begs them to return the next day and take Lenny away.

Meeting Lenny

Lenny writes a message of help for Hugh and Dalian.

The next morning, Hugh visits the nearest telegraph station. Dalian waits in the car while complaining about the taste of some biscuits, although she keeps eating them. When Hugh returns, he tells her to stop eating his portion. In the afternoon, they have tea with Paula. Dalian rudely corrects Paula when the latter quotes incorrectly from Lenny’s work. Hugh covers Dalian’s mouth. He affirms that Paula is only testing Dalian. Paula seems satisfied, so she allows the couple to see Lenny. Hugh and Dalian see the writer alive and working on the last part of his trilogy. Using his typewriter to trick Paula, the author writes a message asking Hugh and Dalian to forget about him and to save Leticia. As reward, Lenny will give Hugh and Dalian the manuscript of the last part of the trilogy. Later, by examining Lenny’s autograph, Hugh and Dalian confirm the man’s identity.

Late at night, Hugh and Dalian break into the barn again and find the body of Leticia. Lenny appears at the door, threatened by Paula, who’s holding a hunting rifle. Hugh exposes Paula as a maniac fan and murderer that wants the perfect ending for Lenny’s work. Hugh got the information from the telegraph station. Hugh learns that the author is revived as soon as his lover is murdered, and vice versa, due to the powers of the Phantom Book called "The Ophiuchus Manuscript" used by Paula. She keeps killing Leticia and Lenny. Hugh doesn’t shoot Paula, since he’s trying to elaborate a plan to save Leticia and Lenny. Eventually, the writer and his lover become a monster, result of evolution over a long time of deaths and resurrections. Hugh witnesses the monster crushing Paula to death. Dalian allows Hugh to open the Dantalian's Bookshelf, but he affirms that it won’t be necessary. Hugh prays for Leticia and Lenny as they disappear. Days later, Dalian throws a cushion at Hugh’s head. She’s unhappy with the ending of Lenny’s trilogy. Hugh has no choice but to help her write a new ending using Wesley’s typewriter.[11]

Ras Alhague monster (manga)

Hugh and Dalian witness Lenny and Leticia becoming a monster and killing Paula.

Book of Oblivion[]

Grumpy Dalian

Dalian, sat next to Hugh, expresses her disdain for Davi.

Accompanied by Dalian, Hugh visits his uncle Davi Hillenbrand. Hugh and Dalian sit on a chaise lounge. Hugh seems unhappy. He’s forced to catch up with his uncle. Last time they’ve seen each other was at the funeral of Hugh's mother, six years ago. Davi heard that his nephew served as a flying ace during the Great War. For a moment, anger appears in Hugh’s face. He introduces Dalian as Wesley’s adoptive daughter. In Davi’s opinion, Hugh should be focused on women with a more mature sex appeal. Hugh asks Dalian to endure the situation with him.

Hugh asks about Yolanda. The latter married Davi four years ago. It was an urgent ceremony because of the war, so Hugh couldn’t be invited. Davi wishes to see Hugh wed. The latter choose not to pursue the subject. Hugh asks about a photo on the table, next to a tea set. Davi tells him about the women, describing their qualities, as if they are female suitors for Hugh. As a lord in a happy marriage, Davi wants to see his nephew make a name for himself and build a family, and not only collect books with a little girl. Davi ends the conversation and tells Hugh to sleep in. The lord will leave for business that night, but Yolanda will stay to talk about the wonders of a happy marriage. Davi and Yolanda leave the room, ignoring Hugh’s protests.

In the guest room, Dalian blames Hugh for putting her in that situation. The fact that Hugh looked at that photo in the living room just added to the anger of the jealous girl. Hugh explains that he’s only visiting his uncle because the latter had sent a telegram, saying that he wanted to consult with his nephew. After seeing her husband off, Yolanda encounters Hugh and Dalian once again. For Hugh’s despair, Dalian rudely asks why Yolanda is married with someone like Davi. Yolanda affirms that perhaps sees in Davi the masculine figure she missed for a long time. Yolanda affirms that Hugh will also find nice things in a marriage. Hugh stands up, ready to leave the mansion. If the reason for his uncle’s invitation is to arrange a marriage, he won’t stay. However, Yolanda reveals herself as the one who sent the telegram to Hugh.

Yolanda heard from Hugh’s mother that he’s very knowledgeable about books. Hugh points to Dalian, showing the real expert. Yolanda is looking for a book, but she doesn’t know its title or author, nor the reason why she’s searching for it. That was making her distressed, day-dreaming. At the dinner, Hugh asks Dalian’s opinion about Yolanda’s problem. Dalian’s theory is that Yolanda witnessed Davi conducting a ritual with a Phantom Book, the one he used to force her into marriage. Davi then sealed Yolanda's memories about the ritual and about the end of Bluebeard, a folktale with a very similar narrative. Hugh cannot believe this suspicion against his uncle. Hugh knows that Davi is not a violent person. When Hugh’s mother was healthy, she used to bully and make him cry. Hugh seems to reminisce for a moment.

Although Dalian is not interested, Hugh tells her that they should discover why Yolanda’s memory was sealed, before the worst happens. Dalian chokes with the food, so Hugh gives her a glass of water. A small laughter is heard behind her. A young maid was listening to their conversation. Dalian calls for her to make some questions. Hugh gives the maid some coins to encourage her to speak. The maid reveals that Davi and Yolanda always look like a happy couple. However, a rumor says that they were different in the past. It’s said that Yolanda started to enjoy Davi’s company when he brought a weird book to the mansion. It's said that Davi’s family includes a bibliomaniac who secretly gave him this book. Hugh and Dalian tense up.

Hugh and Dalian enter Davi’s study to look for a Phantom Book. Soon after, they see Yolanda at the door of the study. Hugh asks if there’s more books in the mansion. He also asks if there are secret rooms in the property. Yolanda talks about a room Davi says it should never be opened. Hugh confirms the presence of a door in a dark hallway. Davi’s secret dark room has a sweet fragrance of a woman’s perfume. Dalian finds the Book of Oblivion inside. She gives it to Yolanda.

Davi shows up, out of breath, back from work. He seems afraid of Yolanda, now that she has recovered her memories. Hugh apologizes for being there without permission. He tells his uncle to explain the purpose of that room. All the items inside that dark room belong to Davi’s mistress. Davi had used the Book of Oblivion to make Yolanda forget about the cheating. The lord tries to justify his behavior to Hugh, showing a square-shaped wound on his cheek, beneath his large beard. Yolanda had hit Davi with the Phantom Book. Hugh picks up the Book of Oblivion to return it to its place. He gives the Phantom Book to Dalian. Hugh believes that he had learned enough about marriage. Hugh and Dalian leave the room, while Yolanda continues to threaten her husband.[12]

Book of Twilight[]

Hugh and Dalian examine the destroyed fortress. Strangely, they can’t find a single corpse. According to the Biblioprincess, it's too late for that place.

Aira visits Salute. Outside, through a window, she notices a strange couple outside. Salute affirms that they are wandering around the town since morning. In the afternoon, Aira visits the northern forest to obtain an ingredient for her grandmother. She sees Hugh and Dalian approaching. Aira introduces herself as a shaman apprentice. Hugh apologizes for Dalian’s bad temper. He asks if Aira knows about a place in the vicinity where he can find a large number of books. There are no big churches in town, but she recalls about a printing studio recently opened nearby. Dalian scolds Hugh for taking her to the wrong place. Aira resumes her work while the couple walks back to the town.

The next day, the town is attacked by the Broken Wings. Aira is pursued by one of the huge insects. She stumbles, exhausted, but someone catches her before she can hit the ground. Hugh had prepared a fumigant, so the town was being enveloped by a white mist. The Broken Wings disappear, defeated by the fog. The young man asks Dalian how the insects passed through the barrier they set around the printing studio. Dalian examines the remains of a wrecked carriage and finds incunables inside wooden boxes. According to Aira, the goods are owned by Tito, a proud book dealer apprentice. The Broken Wings are being attracted by the books. Dalian argues that Aira should have said so before. Hugh interrupts the discussion, noticing carriage tracks leading to the mountains. The shaman apprentice guides Hugh and Dalian to her house.

Dalian suffers to climb the slope, but Hugh helps her, apparently used to such environment. After some time, Hugh has to carry Dalian on his back. They finally reach the house, where they find the inhabitants who survived the attack of the Broken Wings. Those who had lost friends and familiars are angry, blaming the old woman for the tragedy. According to them, the shaman, Aira’s grandmother, should have provided the poison Yakatsu before. However, Aira reveals that the Yakatsu has no effect on the Broken Wings.

The inhabitants start blaming each other until they see Hugh and Dalian. The couple examines the carriage loaded with a massive load of books. It will serve as bait to attract the Broken Wings. The couple is attacked by Gianni, the town vigilant, but his sword cannot touch them, as if they are ghosts. Hugh tells everyone to leave that place, but it's too late. Huge Broken Wings are approaching. Hugh opens the Dantalian's Bookshelf. He reads the Book of the Sage to destroy the monsters. Hugh puts the Book of the Sage back into Dalian’s chest. Hugh introduces himself as a person from a different world. The couple disappears soon after.

Back to the Disward estate, Dalian tells Hugh to apply the poison and kill every single one of the silverfishes. Hugh is organizing the library, separating stacks of books with faded covers and traces of bites. Hugh affirms that the books will need fumigation and repair services. The humidity had attracted the insects. Influenced by the power of the Book of Twilight, the silverfishes had evolved to eat the story itself, so Hugh and Dalian had to intervene. Hugh is stunned by the number of books he needs to carry outside. Dalian affirms that she’s too busy to help.[13]

Wesley Collection (1)

Hugh organizing the library.

The Magician's Daughter[]

Hugh answers the door of the Disward estate, clearly irritated. He’s surprised to see Armand Jeremiah. The latter wonders if Dalian is Hugh’s wife. Hugh grimaces and quickly clarifies their relationship. Hugh explains that he and Armand served in the same airbase during the war. Hugh helped Armand out of trouble many times. Armand accidentally refers to Hugh as Pilot Officer. Armand knows that Hugh doesn’t like to be addressed like that. Armand knows that Hugh is the grandson of a famous bibliomaniac. That’s why Armand came to ask for a Phantom Book. Hugh explains that Armand is not the first to visit with that purpose. According to Armand, Viola Duplessis promised to marry the man who gives her five specific Phantom Books. Hugh heard that she’s a beautiful courtesan. Dalian allows Armand to search for the Book of the Salamander's Seal in the basement of the Disward estate. In exchange, she wants to meet Viola.

Days later, Hugh and Dalian go to the capital to meet Armand. Dalian affirms that Hugh is very interested in the courtesan. Hugh objects. The trio visits a brothel. Armand tries to control the rude Biblioprincess, while Hugh ignores her attitude. The hostess delivers a letter with Viola's address. At Viola’s mansion, Hugh learns that she doesn’t remember her past, although she knows about the existence of the Dantalian's Bookshelf and the Phantom Books necessary to protect her from someone referred as the Earl. During the conversation, Hugh suddenly covers Dalian and pushes Armand. Hugh was trying to protect them from a winged woman. Hugh doubts that the creature can be killed with conventional weapons, so he decides not to shoot her. The winged woman informs that the Earl will be coming for Viola the next full moon. The monster goes away. Viola’s legs give up, but Hugh grabs the courtesan in time. Hugh and Dalian bid farewell. Dalian affirms that they will be back when the villain shows up.

Hugh and Dalian return to Viola's house, which is crowded with men wishing to protect her. Hugh sees how five of her suitors, including Armand, have obtained the Phantom Books requested by the courtesan. Hugh is sure that the volumes are all fakes. The Earl eventually arrives and a confrontation begins. Hugh notices how the Earl transformed the blood of the fallen men into liquid mercury. From Dalian, Hugh learns that the Earl is a real sorcerer, more powerful during a full moon night. Hugh watches the five suitors protecting Viola, who is exposed as the Earl’s daughter, an automaton created as an experiment. Before Melgar can release his attack to kill Viola and her suitors, Hugh opens the Dantalian's Bookshelf. The men protecting Viola are chosen by the real Phantom Books. They cure everyone and manage to block the magician's attacks. Melgar admits defeat and disappears.

After the confrontation, Armand realizes that Hugh and Dalian were testing him, to see if he’s a worthy reader of a Phantom Book. Hugh looks away, feigning ignorance. Armand and the other men give the Phantom Books back to Hugh. Viola walks away with her lover Baron. Hugh encouragingly slaps the back of the broken-hearted Armand. Hugh invites Armand for a drink.[14]

Book of Atonement[]

Dalian asks for all the fried breads in the store. Hugh wonders when she’ll be satisfied. He’s uncomfortable because everyone is staring at them. According to her, the next stop will be at a donut shop, as it shows her guidebook. Hugh reminds her that they are looking for the owner of a Phantom Book which creates zombies. They discuss about the matter. A zombie had attacked the embassy a few days ago. The terrorists who are using the Phantom Book may target the international conference attended by many European leaders. Hugh asks if Dalian knows the couple who is staring at them. The pilot violently accelerates the motorcycle in Hugh and Dalian's direction. The vehicle doesn’t slow down, even when moving on the sidewalk, destroying the tables nearby. At the last moment, Hugh picks Dalian up, jumping towards the road. Hal, a Book Burning Officer, points his staff at Hugh and Dalian. Hal refers to Hugh as the Biblioprincess’ dog. Hugh wonders if Hal is Dalian’s friend. Hugh also wonders if Flamberge is a Biblioprincess.

Without a warning, Hal attacks Hugh. Hugh pushes Dalian away to protect her. Hugh and Hal soon break away as a burst of hot smoke comes out of the staff. Hugh wipes the blood from his lips. Hal is surprised. He should have defeated his opponent. Hal asks if Hugh is a soldier. Hugh identifies himself as an airplane pilot. He points his handgun at Hal. Hal’s purpose is destroying all Phantom Books, objects that use the power of illusions and should not exist. Hugh argues that mankind has progressed because of people who seek the unknown. Hal asks if he ever saw someone who found happiness by reading a Phantom Book. Hugh affirms that someone may succeed in the future. Hal accuses Hugh of planning a terrorist attack using living corpses to storm the embassy. Hal asks what Hugh and Dalian are doing next to the crime scene, holding a Phantom Book. Hal points to the guidebook at the ground, mistaking it for a Phantom Book. Hal clearly misinterpreted. Nonetheless, he plans to destroy the Biblioprincess and her key-keeper. Hal shows a bunch of old golden key in his right hand. Hugh evokes a similar one from his right hand.

They can hear screams coming from a subway station. Accompanied by Flamberge, Hal drives inside the station. Hugh and Dalian follow him. Someone had added the transcription of the Book of Atonement in a signboard to make the readers turn into zombies. Hal is surrounded by the creatures. Hugh shoots the signboard, preventing the creation of more monsters. Hugh reads the Book of the Feast of the Dead of the Windowless Hall to freeze the zombies and save Hal. The Book Burning Officer agrees to work with Hugh and Dalian for a moment to catch the terrorists. They deduce that the criminals plan to use newspapers with the transcription of the Book of Atonement to make more zombies. An important football match was about to end, so many Londoners would buy the extra editions. Hal and Flamberge search for a printing shop while Hugh and Dalian go to the stadium to prolong the match.

At the stadium, Hugh uses a microphone to read The Great Queen Poem to everyone. He manages to change the score and prevent the match from ending. Outside, Hugh and Dalian notice that the royal city is safe. Apparently, Hal and Flamberge have also succeeded in their mission. All that’s left is to settle Hugh and Hal’s fight. Hal made Hugh promise that they will continue their dispute after the problem is solved. Dalian seems worried, holding Hugh’s coat tightly. He looks at her with a smile on his face. He removes a gambling ticket from his pocket. Few people would bet on a 7-7 score. Dalian opens her eyes wide, happy with his thinking. She will use the money to buy sweets and visit the used bookstore. The next day, Hal waits hours in front of a huge museum, but Hugh doesn’t show up.[15]

Book of Gap[]

Hugh and Dalian go to the library of the Cadfael School. Dalian presses a mug against Hugh’s cheeks in order to wake him up. Hugh is trying to rest from the long drive. Because of her attitude, Hugh has no choice but pour her more tea. She's already eating his portion of the lunch. While serving her, he examines the idyllic landscape around. However, he rather not to stay for too long. Hugh is uncomfortable for being in an all-girls school. There are many girls looking at him, either curious or intimidated.

Jessica Introduction

Jessica confronts Hugh and Dalian.

Suddenly, a young girl wearing school uniform shows up to interrogate the couple. Dalian hides behind Hugh, scared by the movement of her hair, which resembles the wagging of a dog tail. Holding a lacrosse stick as a weapon, Jessica Elphinstone wonders if they have a permission to visit the school. Hugh reveals that the principal, Miss Roedean, allowed them there. Jessica asks if they will investigate the recent rumors. It’s said that Benjamin Diffring, a serial killer who escaped from prison, is hiding somewhere in the school. For her disappointment, Hugh affirms that they came to look for a book. Their conversation is interrupted by a scream coming from the schoolyard.

Hugh is the first to move. He carries Dalian under his arm, interrupting her teatime. The scream came from a student soaked in blood. She faints, but Hugh releases Dalian to support her. Blood also covers a leather bag, a book and the body of a half-naked woman in her early thirties. Jessica recognizes Nicola, her teacher and dorm supervisor. Nicola is one of the two people who went missing last weekend. Dalian tells Hugh to investigate the cause of death. Nicola's abdomen was cut open and some of her internal organs had been removed, as if the murder was part of a sacred ceremony performed with precision and careful methodology. Jessica expresses indignation when Hugh seems unfazed about the abnormal crime. However, as a war veteran, Hugh is used to witness people meeting tragic fates. He observes that, considering the state of the body, the woman was killed hours ago. With all that blood, it should be impossible to carry the corpse to that spot without leaving traces, unless the murderer used the power of a Phantom Book. Jessica realizes that Hugh and Dalian’s goal is to find this Phantom Book. Hugh seems in a bad mood, predicting that his job won't be so easy.

At the library, Hugh sits on a wooden footstool while Dalian examines the bookshelves. Hugh wants to leave that place to find an accommodation. Dalian uses him as a stepladder to reach a report about the serial killer. It’s a summary made by the curious students of the school. Hugh and Dalian speculate that the book Diffring got from prison is a Phantom Book. Dalian suggests that the murderer is hiding in the school to find new victims. The sound of footsteps echoes through the dark library. They see Jessica climbing up the stairs. She isn't supposed to leave her dormitory. Jessica wanders around the dim library looking for Hugh and Dalian while fighting against the instinctive fear of darkness.

Benjamin Attacks

Hugh confronts Benjamin Diffring.

Jessica finds another female student collapsed on the floor. Matilda Linker was the other person who went missing for several days. Jessica is threatened by Benjamin Diffring. He stops when a gunshot hits the stone wall next to him. Hugh shows up in front of Jessica, pointing his revolver at Diffring. Its low accuracy is a disadvantage in a close-range fight. Because of that knife, Hugh needs to quickly injury his enemy. The serial killer jumps with inhuman power to swing at Hugh’s head. The tip of the knife collides with the barrel of the gun. Diffring loses balance when he is pushed back by Hugh. Before Hugh can shoot him, the criminal jumps towards a dark corridor. Hugh and Jessica reach a dead end, only to discover that Diffring disappeared without a trace. Dalian shows up, revealing that Matilda is fatally injured and that there is no time to take her to a hospital. Jessica is angered, believing that Hugh and Dalian have already given up on Matilda. However, Hugh opens the Dantalian's Bookshelf and grabs the Book of the Silver Well, which he uses to heal Matilda’s wounds.

Hugh takes the asleep student to the entrance of the dormitory. When he returned, Dalian and Jessica were sat in the front of the library. The schoolgirl opens her handbag to show the sandwiches and water bottles she brought to them, explaining why she left her room. Although they came for a book, Hugh and Dalian are defending the school, so Jessica wanted to help them. Hugh explains that killing is not Diffring’s purpose. Diffring is looking for a mother, the body of a woman, a womb where he can get inside and be born once again. Hugh and Dalian ask why Jessica was wandering around the library before they first met. Jessica reveals that she witnessed the murderer attacking Matilda. Jessica wanted to find her friend. Hugh and Dalian elaborate a plan to catch Diffring.

Hugh and Jessica sit on a bench, under the shade of a large tree. Jessica cannot understand how having tea together is a method to catch a murderer. Inside the dormitory, the other girls are discussing about their supposed date. Hugh explains that, from that spot, they can notice the serial killer approaching. Furthermore, staying away from the library is for their advantage. Dalian appears behind Jessica. The Biblioprincess had finished her job at the library. A teacher approaches them. There was a note written by Miss Roedean on her desk, asking the teacher to deliver a book to Jessica. Predicting the danger, Hugh and Dalian tell the woman to drop the book. It was too late, since her arms were slashed by a blade coming out from between the pages.

Jessica runs to help the teacher, only to be stopped by Hugh. A human silhouette emerges from the book that fell on the ground. The shadow gains thickness and assumes the form of a small man holding a knife. Diffring holds the injured teacher in front of him, forcing Hugh to hold fire. Diffring has been using the Book of Gap to hide between the pages of books. Diffring picks the Phantom Book up from the ground and removes a gun from one of the gaps between its pages. Diffring pulls the trigger, showing no mercy. Hugh, Dalian and Jessica, however, are unaffected. Diffring tries to shoot Dalian, but it’s like an invisible wall is protecting his targets. Hugh is holding the "Book of Styx" to summon the barrier. Diffring ignores the weapon and runs away. Although Jessica wants to follow him, Hugh remains calm. He and Dalian already know that the criminal is heading to the library to hide himself.

When Hugh opened the school library, Jessica saw the empty bookshelves. The collection of over 100,000 books had vanished, so now Diffring has no place to hide. At a loss, he drops the Book of Gap. Armed police officers pop out from behind the bookshelves to detain the criminal. Hugh picks up the Book of Gap from the floor. He gives it to Dalian. Hugh and Dalian go to the principal’s office.

They sit on a luxurious reception sofa to talk with a beautiful blond woman of unknown age. Principal Roedean, Hugh’s aunt, asks what he thinks of Jessica. Irritated, Hugh realizes that his aunt called him not only to make him search for the Book of Gap, but also to meet the daughter of an important family for a future arranged marriage. Hugh and Dalian prepare to leave but, before that, the principal affirms that she won't take any action, although she is unsure of what’s on Jessica’s mind. Hugh and Dalian share a dislike for the principal. At the library, it’s revealed that Jessica was tasked with the organization of the library as punishment for leaving her room late at night. Jessica naturally directs her anger at the couple who left the mess behind. She intends to express her dissatisfaction during the next summer break.[16]

Phantom Score[]

Hugh's violin

Dallaglio fixes Hugh's violin.

Dalian forces Hugh to play the violin in the park. He produces a sound like glass being scratched. He stops when Dalian throws a plate at his back. It’s been six years since the last time he practiced, so he’s having problems to use the instrument, which seems in bad condition. A young woman suddenly requests the violin. A man wearing glasses runs towards them, out of breath. He asks Hugh to show them the instrument. The stranger studies the item and identifies some flaws. He takes a mallet from his bag and starts fixing the violin. Hugh is afraid of having his expensive possession destroyed.

The woman in white tries the instrument. The heinous, loud sound makes Hugh cover his ears. He means to stop Christabel, but she starts playing for real with delicate movements. The magnificent music overwhelms the listeners and makes the surroundings more beautiful. She doesn’t hear Hugh and Dalian’s compliments because she’s too focused on her performance. The unknown man apologizes, explaining that she never stops once she starts playing, but Hugh doesn’t mind. The melody attracts a small crowd. The celebrity wants to keep playing, but his companion insists on leaving. Hugh agrees to lend her the violin. Before dragging the young woman away, the man introduces himself as Dallaglio Hayward. He seems to have known Hugh’s grandfather.

Perennial Wisdom (2)

Hugh and Dalian visit the used bookstore.

A few days later, Hugh and Dalian visit a used bookstore. Hugh calls the owner after finding an interesting booklet displayed in a glass case. The cover depicts a young woman in silk dress holding a violin. The old man teases Hugh for his interest for Christabel Sistine. She’s a reputed musician, rumored to be able of playing Guglielmo Baldini’s works, the Phantom Scores. The shopkeeper shows an old newspaper revealing that Christabel’s own concert hall will be inaugurated soon.

Hugh and Dalian see the luxurious concert hall in the center of the city. Security is heavy around the building, so Hugh won't be able to retrieve his instrument. Dalian pushes him towards one of the guards to request a meeting with the violinist. The strong man treats her like a child. Dalian becomes so angry that she can't speak. The Biblioprincess struggles furiously while Hugh drags her away. She tells Hugh to open the Dantalian's Bookshelf to incinerate the guard. Hugh calmly points at a suspicious man in the distance. They see Dallaglio walking to the mechanical room of the concert hall. Dalian decides to follow him, but Hugh stops her by grabbing her collar. He questions why she's interested in the Phantom Scores. Dalian runs away from Hugh, affirming that there are things in this better left alone.

After winding through the alleyways, they reach a simple metal door at the stone wall of the concert hall. At the basement, Hugh smells oil. He uses his lighter to examine the eerie machine loaded in the elevator that goes up to the stage. He notices someone else in the underground darkness. He protects Dalian as a shadow moves to attack her with a baton. Hugh falls on the floor and loses consciousness after being hit. Hugh is tied to a chair. Hugh is uncomfortable, feeling his temple throbbing in pain. The blood which soaked his coat has already dried. Christabel greets him. Hugh doesn’t feel hostility in her. He notices Dalian behind him, also tied up. Normally she would complain about Hugh fainting, but her mouth was covered.

Christabel affirms that Kendrick is the one who beat and restrained Hugh. The man is responsible for paying the violinist and financing her concert hall. Apparently, Hugh and Dalian saw something they weren’t supposed to see. Hugh examines the elevator once again, noticing that the machine is in fact a doll which serves as an accompanist for the concert. Hugh and Dalian listen to Christabel playing with the pianist automaton. Dallaglio appears, out of breath. Before releasing Hugh and Dalian, Dallaglio asks them to escape with Christabel before the inauguration ceremony. However, a middle-aged man interrupts them.

Kendrick is being escorted by another person holding a black club in his left hand, the same one used to hit Hugh. Kendrick affirms that Hugh and Dalian won't be hurt. They have become important guests who will be allowed to listen to Christabel’s performance. Hugh, a member of the noble Disward family, is qualified for that. Dallaglio affirms that he won't let Hugh and Dalian listen to the concert. Hugh also affirms that he won't pay for the presentation. After all, he has bad memories about classical music, learning with a harsh tutor. Kendrick ensures that he’ll change his mind after the ceremony starts. After all, Christabel will play Utopia, an addictive Phantom Score that control people’s minds. Dallaglio doesn’t want to see Kendrick using Christabel. Since Dallaglio is trying to interfere with his plans, Kendrick orders his subordinate to shoot him. Dallaglio is fatally wounded. Satisfied, Kendrick and his man leave the basement.

Dallaglio crawls towards Hugh holding a small knife to cut the ropes restraining him. Dallaglio explains that Christabel is an automaton he created. Dallaglio collapses after releasing Hugh. Dallaglio dies in Hugh’s hands. The latter rushes to cut Dalian’s ropes. Surprisingly, Christabel plays Twilight, a Phantom Score that brings destruction. Hugh carries Dalian outside, moments before the basement collapses. While catching his breath, Hugh looks to the concert hall. Through a crack, he sees Christabel playing on the stage. She notices Hugh and gives him a happy smile. The concert hall is destroyed.

Hugh and Dalian visited the place a week later, hoping to find the Phantom Score. Hugh places a bouquet of flowers among the rubble. Dalian is still blaming Hugh for losing Baldini's compositions. She affirms that the Phantom Scores require an automaton with human emotions, explaining why Dallaglio built Christabel. According to Dalian, perhaps Christabel acted on her own will, playing Twilight instead of Utopia, because she was sad after witnessing the death of her creator. Hugh touches Dalian’s forehead to check her temperature. He finds odd such gentle words leaving her mouth.

Furious, Dalian decides to return to the Disward estate by herself, although she doesn’t know the way. The Biblioprincess tries to talk to a passerby and ask for directions. She returns indignant after receiving a large candy ball. Hugh escorts her to the station. He suggests that she take music lessons. Dalian affirms that she doesn’t want to become tone-deaf like Hugh. He points out the mistakes she makes humming while reading her books. She scolds him as they leave for home.[17]

Book of Relationship[]

On a hot summer afternoon, Hugh finds Dalian sat on the floor to cool herself during that warm day. She decides to stay there even if a guest arrives, although she hesitates when Hugh mentions tea and macaroons. Someone is heard knocking the entrance door. Armand came to ask for their help. At the living room, while Armand describes his situation, Hugh sips lukewarm tea. Armand got himself a girlfriend and engaged her two weeks ago. Hugh and Dalian have no patience to listen to him, especially during the heat of that afternoon. Hugh tells Armand to go away. The listeners finally become interested when Armand mentions that he got acquainted with Lianna duet to a rare book. Hugh studies the damaged, ancient book presented by Armand. Rumors say that the Book of Relationship brings a fated couple together. Hugh and Dalian think that Armand is after a relationship advice. However, the latter wonders if the Book of Relationship is real. Dalian ensures that he could only find a lover by using the powers of a Phantom Book.

Hugh patience

Hugh has no patience to listen to Armand's love story.

When Armand leaves the mansion, Dalian decides to follow him. Hugh accompanies her with no enthusiasm. In a dirty alley, Hugh and Dalian watch Armand and Lianna going to an opera house. Hugh and Dalian are worried about the curse of the Book of Relationship, but since Armand seems in love with Lianna, there shouldn’t be a problem. When Hugh and Dalian are walking towards the main street, back to the Disward estate, Armand notices them. He believes that they are concerned about Lianna, while Hugh affirms that their meeting was only a coincidence. Lianna reflects about Armand’s relationship with Dalian.

Half a month later, Hugh and Dalian go to the town. The place is crowded and hot, so Hugh wants to go back, but Dalian decides to buy a frozen dessert. Suddenly, they see people running like threatened wild animals. Hugh covers his face to hide from Armand. However, Hugh notices that Armand is being affected by the Book of Relationship curse. Hugh decides to take him to the Disward estate, preventing any passersby from being injured. They only arrived after the sunset. Armand explains that everything started after he interacted with one of his servants. Lianna believes that Armand is cheating on her. The Book of Relationship reacts to her suspicions, even if, in reality, Armand remains loyal.

They hear someone knocking the entrance door. Lianna has tracked Armand. Trembling with fear, he asks for Hugh’s help. She shows an empty smile when Hugh opens the door. He tells her that Armand isn't in the mansion. She insists on seeing her fiancé, believing that he’s hiding around there, but she eventually gives up. Hugh’s muscles relax after he closes the door. As soon as Hugh returns to the living room, Armand’s face becomes pale. Lianna is watching them through the window, pushing her cheek against the glass. The Branches of Relationship cover his entire body and part of the room. The flames of the Book of Relationship curse kill Armand. Hugh watches everything while holding a golden key in his right hand. Lianna questions what happened with her husband-to-be. Hugh explains that Armand committed suicide as atonement for betraying his fianceé. Recognizing the Black Biblioprincess and her key-keeper, Lianna hands out her volume of the Book of Relationship. She leaves the mansion.

Hugh wonders if they can revive Armand now. Dalian wants Armand dead, but Hugh needs him alive to charge him for the reparations of the room. He opens an old book, the Book of the Eleusis Ritual, taken from the Dantalian's Bookshelf. As the ceremony described in the Phantom Book is performed, Armand is brought back from the Underworld. He affirms that he had judged Lianna by her appearance, without noticing her excessive jealousy. He will start looking for cheerful, lively big-breasted ladies. As Hugh laughs, Dalian watches him with a lonely smile, as if she was unexpectedly on the verge of crying. "Until death do us part", she says. Hugh barely notices it. When he looked at Dalian, her smile had already faded away like an illusion.[18]

The Perfumer[]

Hugh and Dalian have been waiting in line for hours. Dalian wants to buy fried breads. Hugh can’t see why those pastries are so special. Finally at the counter, Hugh orders twenty fried breads before he notices a commotion. A young woman wearing a white coat pushes through the crowd. She notices a puzzled Hugh. The girl can tell that he’s a good person. She approaches him, asking for his help, affirming that bad people are chasing her. Hugh ignores her. Dalian tells him to order drinks.

The stranger runs with the bag of fried breads, for Dalian’s despair. Two robust men are seen in the mob surrounding the shop, looking for Fiona. Following Dalian’s orders, Hugh tries to reach the woman who took the fried breads, but ends up blocking the way of the strong men. They become hostile, briefly discussing about a course of action. One of them throws a metal cylinder in front of Fiona after pulling a safety valve. Hugh is too late to stop the man from using what appears to be a grenade. However, the device blows out a lot of white smoke. It’s a stink bomb, which releases a heavy smell of rotten eggs and fermented cheese.

The men apologize to Hugh and Dalian. The men informed their employer about the situation. Hugh and Dalian are welcomed at the office of an old building. A middle-aged man, apparently the president of the company, apologizes for his daughter Fiona. The Famenias Company is a cosmetic manufacturer, famous for its perfumes. The president explains that Fiona is a talented perfumer and works as the lead researcher, being responsible for the formulation of the Blue Trance, the biggest hit of the corporation. Hugh heard that a famous actress uses the perfume. While examining the shelves, Hugh notices a book carved into the bottle of a perfume. As the president explains, it’s well-known in the cosmetic industry that an old and foreign book is the reason why the Famenias family started to sell perfumes. Fiona is the owner of the book.

An employee appears at the door with a message which makes Mr. Famenias grimace. Whispering, the employee affirms that people from the Padauk Company are looking for the president. Hugh and the president shake hands. The latter excuses himself from the office, asking Hugh and Dalian to wait for Fiona. Hugh heard rumors about the Padauk Company. A trading company as facade, it’s a criminal organization involved in blackmailing, smuggling and illegal drug trade.

Fiona enters the office without knocking, causing Dalian to tremble and hide behind Hugh, trying to protect her last fried bread. Fiona can smell the bread held by Dalian. The Biblioprincess tells her that they have eaten everything a long time ago. Fiona breathes in for a moment, pushing her nose next to Dalian’s neck. Fiona can smell Dalian’s lie. Hugh admires how the perfumer can rely on her nose. Fiona explains that she was trying to rebel, since her father only thinks about money. Fiona knows that Hugh is a good person. Even after waiting in line for hours, he remained calm when the confusion started. She believes that he's used to disorder, having such a thing under his coat. Hugh reveals himself as a former pilot and explains that the gun is only a memento from his grandfather.

Dalian wants to see Fiona’s book. Fiona takes Hugh and Dalian to her laboratory. Hugh asks about a stone-like block placed in front of the mansion. Hugh drops it without thinking after learning that it’s whale vomit, an expensive secretion used in fragrances. Fiona catches the material in the air. He sniffs his hands. Her laboratory surprises Hugh. He thought that her workplace would be more advanced, but it looks more like a zoo or a botanical garden.

When Dalian asks to see the Phantom Book, Fiona searches her pockets and realizes that she forgot a key back at the president’s office. The trio decides to return to the Famenias Company headquarters. Next to the gate of the laboratory, they see a thin, young man with dirty clothes. He’s looking for a product called "Relic". The man mentions how the Padauk Company is planning to kill the president of the Famenias Company to obtain all the profit from the Relic. Hugh and Dalian follow Fiona to the headquarters.

The Famenias Company was attacked. Hugh notices only one man alive in that battlefield. According to the man, someone wielding a knife killed everyone, while other man watched everything. Hugh is unable to stop Fiona when she runs to the president’s office. She finds a man in black holding a bloodied knife next to the president, who is collapsed in his desk with a sliced throat. Hugh questions Noss and learns that he’s a murderer hired by the Padauk Company. The criminals want the recipe for the Relic, an addictive product that Fiona came by while creating the Blue Trance. Vance leaves with the Relic recipe after ordering Noss to kill Fiona.

Noss keeps moving even when Hugh has his gun pointed at him. The man carrying a knife has unbelievable reflexes. He avoids Hugh’s shot and moves to his blind spot. Dalian informs the murderer’s location and Hugh blocks Noss’ knife with the gun barrel of his revolver, protecting his throat from a fatal blow. Noss strikes Hugh with his knee, pushing him against a wall. Still, Hugh smiles triumphantly, looking at the bullet wound on Noss’ leg. However, the murderer seems unaffected. The Relic is numbing Noss' emotions and sense of pain while enhancing his strength and agility. Noss means to use his bottle of Relic. However, Hugh shoots the bottle.

Noss examines his own bloodied hand which was holding the perfume. Hugh also shoots Noss' right knee and left shoulder. Normally, Noss wouldn’t be able to move with all those wounds, which would be fatal if not treated. Nevertheless, he manages to push Hugh against a wall. Noss prepares to stab Hugh. Just before the attack, Fiona jumps in front of Hugh and ends up stabbed in his place. She takes a glass bottle from her pouch and smashes against Noss’ head. According to her, the liquid running down his face sharpens pain stimulus. Noss dies after suffering a heart attack. Fiona also collapses, worrying Hugh and Dalian. She’s healed as Hugh reads a Phantom Book taken from the Dantalian's Bookshelf.

Vance comes back and prepares to shoot them with a handgun. Fiona thanks Hugh and Dalian and throws a second bottle at Vance’s face. The man enters a hypnotic state, dropping his weapon. She also takes a third bottle from her pouch. She sprays the light purple liquid on Hugh and apologizes. Hugh gets drowsy and loses consciousness. Fiona walks towards Vance and orders him to take her to his boss.

Hugh regains consciousness a few minutes later, coughing and shedding tears, with his head resting on Dalian’s lap. The Biblioprincess used a chemical made by Fiona to wake him up. Hugh raises his head, realizing that Fiona is heading to the Padauk Company headquarters. In the late afternoon, they can smell blood at the gates of the Padauk Company mansion. The men carrying handguns and axes are all dead. Hugh realizes that they committed suicide.

Hugh and Dalian find Fiona at the Padauk Company headquarters. She’s fatally wounded. Hugh grabs his golden key, but Dalian doesn’t move. Fiona collapses on the floor, aware that she can’t be healed by a Phantom Book for the second time. Hugh and Dalian kneel next to her. The couple stays with Fiona until her last breath. Hugh and Dalian return to the laboratory to find Fiona’s The Scent God's Scripture. However, they learn that the Relic addict set the place on fire.

The wind spreads the scents from Fiona’s laboratory across the capital. Although people will forget Fiona’s name, they will remember that smell during a happy moment. On their way to the station, Hugh asks what Dalian remembered while smelling the fragrance. She looks at Hugh unconsciously, but quickly turns her eyes away. According to an embarrassed Dalian, she thought about fried bread. She plans to stay in line to buy more fried breads in the morning. Hugh has no choice but to listen her describing the qualities of the fried breads.[19]

Timetable[]

That morning, Kamilla pulled Hugh’s blanket off to wake him up. He smooths his tousled hair. They have thoroughly investigated the Disward estate a long time ago, so she knows how to let herself in. Kamilla is holding a lunch basket with a fragrant smell. She prepared everything so they could go to the station together. It seems like a ghost train passed through the Highland Railway at a tremendous speed last night. Kamilla says that the appearance of the ghost train is the same as the one involved in an incident more than a decade ago. Although Hugh seems interested, he covers himself, going back to sleep.

Kamilla pulls his blanket once again, showing the three tickets she arranged. Dalian looks for some fried breads inside Kamilla’s baggage. Dalian finds an unfamiliar magazine amongst the possessions. Suddenly, the maids from Kamilla’s mansion barge in Hugh’s bedroom. Kamilla has no choice but to go back home with the servants. Hugh had just closed his eyes when Dalian urged him to get up. While eating a piece of fried bread, she shows him the magazine taken from Kamilla’s baggage. It contains blurred and shaky photos of the ghost train. Hugh notices a man reading a book at the end of the platform.

Hugh and Dalian visit the Granholm Station during a quiet night. Hugh is sat on a bench, holding a lamp so Dalian can read a large book. The little girl complains when he moves. She's also in a bad mood due to hunger. The deserted station has no dining room or open shops. They wish to witness the ghost train that Kamilla mentioned. The latter isn't present because her father prevented her from riding a train. Hugh understands her father. After all, Kamilla lost her mother in a railway accident.

Hugh just mentioned how the ghost train would attract a crowd if it appeared every night, when Dalian noticed the presence of a man in his thirties in the distance. Hugh begins to walk towards him after noticing a thick book in his left hand. They hear the sound of a steam engine. Bursting out from the darkness, Hugh sees a large black locomotive carrying luxurious passenger cars. Hugh tries to interrogate the man, only to see him running towards the vehicle as it passed by the station. Dalian also wants to board the train. Hugh picks up the little girl and jumps out of the platform.

The acceleration and the vibration feel terrible. Dalian, hanging under Hugh’s armpit, wants to go inside the passenger car. However, the door in front of them is locked and cannot be kicked open. The young man can't use his revolver, since he's already carrying the little girl and holding the handrail. He affirms that they should wait the train stop at the next station. Dalian decides to use the revolver herself to get out of that windy spot. The Biblioprincess tickles Hugh while searching the revolver in his coat. Both collapse inside the passenger car when the door suddenly opens. Dalian is struggling, trapped under Hugh’s body while he examines the gorgeous interior. Hugh and Dalian meet a little girl who introduces herself as KK. Hugh helps Dalian up. He watches as the girls stand on their tiptoes to decide who’s taller.

Bored, the blonde little girl was looking for something interesting to do, like investigating a case. In fact, she heard that the suspect of a murder has boarded the train. A detective is looking for Jiryis, a violent man who broke prison. Hugh loses balance with the sudden shock that causes the passenger car to shake. The little girls roll together on the floor, stopping at a wall. Hugh was helping them when he heard an anguished cry from the lounge. KK runs by herself to check it, followed by Dalian. Hugh sighs before running after them.

A middle-aged woman informs Hugh that a conductor and the passengers are holding a suspicious man down. Hugh and Dalian saw the man holding a Phantom Book, the Timetable, at the Granholm Station. Heizer Hayling had tried to stop the train, affirming that everyone will die otherwise. Hugh walks forward, asking them to release the man, affirming that he is no criminal. Hugh concludes that Hayling was aboard the train involved in the Highland Railway twelve years ago. The Timetable allows someone to get on any train in the past or future.

KK is confused, but Hugh explains that they need to see Hayling's book. This is impossible because they can't approach Hayling, since people think he’s a criminal. KK suggests that they find the real jailbreaker. The blonde girl deduces that the criminal should be in the locomotive. Predicting a tragedy, Hugh looks around the lounge, unable to find the conductor. Hugh finds the conductor in the foremost part of the passenger car. The conductor had contacted the locomotive. Jiryis knows that he was found, and now he will try to destroy the train. Jiryis makes the train accelerate, and there is no way to stop the vehicle.

Heyling’s sacrifice

Hugh witnesses Hayling's sacrifice.

Hugh follows Hayling to the exterior part of the train. It's a dangerous situation since the vehicle is shaking so much. Hayling almost falls from the coal-car when the train entered a curve, but Hugh pulled him to safety. Hayling apologizes before hitting Hugh’s head with a coal shovel. Hayling plans to decouple the locomotive from the passenger cars. Hugh watches as the coupler is disconnected, releasing countless sparks. Hayling sacrifices himself to prevent a train derailment.

Hugh wipes the blood from his forehead. Dalian and KK had also climbed outside, looking for Hugh. That region had only downhills, so the train will continue to accelerate. However, Dalian won't let Hayling’s sacrifice be in vain. The Timetable in her hands reveals that, while in the past there is only a railroad going downhill, in the future a bifurcation will be used by freight trains carrying slate from the top of the mountain. Hugh uses his lighter to examine the Phantom Book. He reads the Timetable to orient the vehicle uphill. Although the cars shake violently, they escape the derailment. Hugh breathes in relief. The blonde child introduces herself as Kamilla Sauer Keynes. Hugh’s childhood friend was involved in the train tragedy that took her mother’s life. Worried about her mother, Kamilla returns to the passenger car. She wishes to see Hugh and Dalian again in the future. The surroundings begin to shake like an illusion, as if magic is going out of control. Hugh and Dalian return to their original era.

Railway of Light (2)

Hugh and Dalian return to their original era.

Kamilla forces Hugh and Dalian awake in the next morning. He doesn't recognize the crowded train station he's in. According to Kamilla, she had just arrived Granholm Station when she saw them. The place was dirty and deserted last night, but now it's prospering. Hugh learns that Kamilla’s mother is alive. The Phantom Book in Dalian’s hands greatly changed the fate of the Highland Railway and its passengers. Hugh notices an article displayed on the wall inside a glass case. It shows the photograph of an engineer assistant that sacrificed himself to save the passengers from a derailment.[20]

The Cat and the Biblioprincess[]

Hugh doesn't have an umbrella to protected him from the rain. He's returning from the bakery, carrying fresh pastries for breakfast. At the gates of the Disward estate, he sees a wooden box. While he’s checking it, a head pops out from the fabrics inside the box. The eyes stare at Hugh, one yellow, the other blue. Hugh enters the mansion, soaked. Dalian calls for him. Hugh shows a strange smile. He took a long time to buy the breakfast. He apologizes, asking for more time. Dalian examines with suspicion the package under his arm. A fluffy head appears from the folds of the blanket.

Hugh finds a cat

Dalian disapproves of Hugh rescuing a cat.

Hugh was trying to hide the cat. He scratches the animal under the jaw. Dalian disapproves of Hugh rescuing a cat. She mentions how the cat is covered in heath. Hugh then has the idea of naming the cat Heath. Dalian tells Hugh to throw the cat away. Hugh won't do that, especially with such a weather outside. He shows the cat to Dalian, asking if she wants to hold it. As Heath approaches, Dalian cries out, moving against a wall, using a book to shield herself.

Hugh decides to feed the cat. Dalian wonders if Hugh wants to fatten the cat to feed on it later. Hugh believes that he can train the cat to get rid of the mice who gnaw the books. Hugh tries to give milk to Heath. Dalian drinks it, stating that milk will cause stomachache and diarrhea for an adult cat. Hugh tries to give a sandwich to Heath. Dalian bites the sandwich, affirming that the onions are a deadly poison to cats. Heath crawls over Dalian’s chest to lick her milky mustache. Dalian freezes, staring at Hugh as if begging for help.

The next morning, Heath steals Dalian’s breakfast. Dalian runs after Heath. Dalian stumbles against a pile of books and falls on the carpet. Hugh shows up to check on her, trying to hold his laugh. Hugh reminds Dalian that the old man will visit them to borrow a specific, ancient book. Dalian ensures that the book is not a Phantom Book, only a gardening guide. Dalian asks why Hugh is dressed so formally. An old friend of Hugh is very sick. Hugh will meet him one last time. Hugh strokes Dalian’s head. He apologizes because he can’t take her with him. Dalian pushes his hand in annoyance. Hugh tells Dalian and Heath to not fight in the meanwhile. While Hugh is away, Dalian falls asleep. Inside a dream, she learns that Heath wants to destroy the gardening guide, since it will cause a tragedy in the future.

Dalian wakes up. She sees Hugh examining the books scattered in a mess. Hugh smiles, trying to hide his discomfort, but the Biblioprincess notices the book in his hand. It's the book which the old man would borrow. It's ruined, used by Heath to sharp its claws. Hugh starts to defend the cat, asking for Dalian’s leniency. Dalian interrupts him. For Hugh’s surprise, she forgives the cat. Dalian timidly runs a fingernail on the cat’s back. Hugh can’t believe his eyes. He touches Dalian’s forehead to check if she’s sick. Dalian waves Hugh off.[21]

The Logbook[]

The Guillemot, an old steamship, is a few miles from the nearest shore. The engine is silent. There are rusted benches on the deck. Hugh is resting on one of them. Jessica and Dalian start to argue. Hugh asks them to be a little quieter. After all, he and the sailors are exhausted. They've been trying to fix the ship. The trio is in an expedition to find a ghost ship. Hugh sits down. He looks at the sea, gloomily. Fog is approaching. They see an unfamiliar ship in the distance. Hugh wonders if it’s a ghost ship. Dalian calls him a fool. She hides behind Hugh.

The captain of the clipper rescues the crew of the Guillemot. The men aboard the clipper welcome Hugh, Dalian, Jessica and the others, as if they are famous actors or noblemen. Hugh, Dalian and Jessica sit inside the dining room. Thøgersen, the captain of the Atlantic Rim, introduces himself to them. A parrot on his shoulder repeats his words loudly. The Atlantic Rim is carrying a cargo to the east coast of America. Thøgersen will ensure the Guillemot safety until the skies are clear. Thøgersen leaves to meet the Guillemot’s captain.

The sailors bring large dishes with Scandinavian cuisine to please Hugh, Dalian, Jessica and the Guillemot’s crew. Jessica points out how beautiful the ship is. Hugh finds it odd. Nowadays it makes no sense to use a clipper. Its maintenance is expensive. Clippers are practically obsolete. Dalian steals some waffles from Jessica’s plate. The girls fight. Jessica accidentally breaks a bottle of liquor. In the sea, food and alcohol are valuable. However, the sailors don’t seem to mind. They are too friendly for Hugh’s taste. The people from the Atlantic Rim had unceremoniously rescued and fed strangers, which is very suspicious. Hugh also finds interesting how the clipper’s crew is composed of people of different races and nationalities. They hear three gunshots coming from the ship’s passenger cabin.

Hugh and Dalian leave Jessica behind to investigate. Blood is in the air of the passenger cabin. On the coach, the bodies of a young girl and a man, sister and brother from a wealthy family. They had killed themselves. Two other passengers suddenly enter the cabin. A woman in business suit, apparently a secretary called Masha, and a young maid. Maggie, the young maid, snatches the gun from the man’s body. Hugh runs to stop her, but she kills herself. The sailor tells Hugh to not worry. The sailor raises his gun and walks to the deck. Hugh follows him up the stairs.

Again, the smell of blood is in the air. The sailor shoots himself, his body falling overboard. Hugh and Dalian watch as other men from the Atlantic Rim crew reach the deck to take their own lives. Hugh and Dalian hear another shot. They enter the captain’s cabin. Captain Thøgersen had killed himself. A middle-aged man enters the cabin and prays to the dead. Berners, the captain of the Guillemot, will take command over the Atlantic Rim. Hugh notices the parrot sat on the window frame. The animal screams, saying that a ship must always have a crew and a captain. The parrot flies to Berners’ shoulder, as if accepting a new owner. Berners opens the ship’s logbook and starts writing, ignoring Hugh. Masha, the secretary, enters the cabin. Now that her old master died, she will be Hugh’s subordinate. She prepared a new cabin so he can rest.

Hugh, Dalian and Jessica become replacements of the Atlantic Rim passengers. Hugh decides to experiment. He goes to the deck into the cold night. He jumps towards the sea, disappearing into the white fog. Inexplicably, he falls back to the deck, in front of Dalian and Jessica. It’s impossible to leave the ship. Dalian smiles for a moment, relieved. Soon after, she kicks Hugh’s legs in anger. Masha appears behind them. The secretary explains that the ship will travel forever in that foggy world. No one is able to give up, since the Atlantic Rim must have a crew and a captain. The clipper constantly looks for new blood. The ghost ship invites sailors from other vessels in order to replace those who can no longer work.

Hugh and Dalian on the ghost ship

Hugh, Dalian and Jessica head to the captain's cabin.

Jessica decides to search the ship for a Phantom Book. Hugh wants to check the ship’s logbook. Hugh, Dalian and Jessica head to the captain's cabin. There, Jessica finds a closet filled with bones, the remains of Thøgersen and the past captains from years ago. The trio learns the story of the Atlantic Rim and its crew. Berners enters the cabin with the parrot on his shoulder. Dalian tells Berners to surrender the Phantom Book. Berners trembles, distressed. It's revealed that the parrot is both the Phantom Book and the user. The animal controls the ship using forbidden knowledge it heard from the first captain. Since the parrot can't be sealed inside the Dantalian's Bookshelf, Hugh aims at him.

Suddenly, the ship moves, as if it had bumped into something. Everyone goes to the floor. Hugh gained a cut on his lip after his fall. The parrot recognizes Hugh, Dalian and Jessica as enemies, so now the trio is not part of the Atlantic Rim crew. Therefore, the trio is in danger. Huge crocodiles leave the cargo hold. Hugh, Jessica and Dalian are surrounded by the creatures. Hugh can’t shoot the parrot. The smart bird hides behind the mast. Hugh gives his revolver to Jessica, quickly teaching her how to use the gun. Hugh opens the Dantalian’s Bookshelf. A crocodile is about to crush Jessica with its enormous jaws. However, the animal freezes, as if time had stopped.

Hugh had used the Fata Morgana to create the illusion that the ship has reached its destination. The parrot lands on the bow of the ship, staring wishfully at the port. The ship starts to quickly age. It starts to sink. Hugh and the sailors lower the lifeboat. Hugh carries Dalian under his arm. Jessica follows them. The sea devours the Atlantic Rim. The lifeboat floats across the blue sea. Dalian leans against Hugh. They hear a whistle. A ship is approaching to rescue them. Everyone laughs in relief.[22]

Book of Connection[]

Hugh lands a decommissioned Brisfit airplane on a snowy runway. Dalian complains about the uncomfortable flight. Hugh tells her to complain to Armand for providing a plane in bad conditions. They are visiting Nudelwald to look for a Phantom Book. After all, they read that the local monks killed a man with only a prayer. A girl in a monastic tunic throws snowballs at Hugh and Dalian. She wants them gone. Hugh easily dodges the snowballs. The young nun disappears into the forest nearby when she sees four nuns approaching. The eldest nun welcomes Hugh and Dalian to Nudelwald. Hugh notices a book with red cover in her hand.

Meals and rooms are promptly prepared for Hugh and Dalian, free of charge. It's a suspicious behavior from the overly gentle nuns. One of them explains that, according to Mother Eva Gisela, neighbors should be loved, guests treated as brothers and sisters. Hugh gazes the portraits at the wall. He finds the image of Mother Eva. She looks like the nun who threw snowballs at them. Hugh asks to the nun nearby about the red book in her hands. The nun explains that it’s a manuscript, an ancient translation from the Bible, transmitted in the monastery from generation to generation. The nun offers a copy to Hugh, but he refuses.

Hugh and Dalian stand up to explore the town. They notice that everyone in the town carry red books. They also notice that the town is only inhabited by young children, women and old people. A gray-haired man having a coughing fit falls to the ground. The snowball-thrower nun runs to check on Queneau. She makes Hugh and Dalian help her to carry the weakened old man to the church. The nun explains that Queneau had been thrown away. He had been mining for the monastery, but he was discarded when he fell sick. The local mines were recently bought by a man in white coat. The nun introduces herself as Emilie Gisela.

Hugh carries Queneau on his back. They arrive at Emilie’s church. Inside, senile men rest under the blankets. Like Queneau, they are workers discarded by the monastery. Emilie is taking care of them. The people from the monastery are powerful. No one can oppose them. Emilie prepares three mugs of coffee prepared from dried roots. Dalian finds it disgusting. Hugh struggles to drink it. Hugh says that Emilie is a good sister. Emilie lowers her head in sadness, briefly mentioning her sister. Emilie quickly changes the subject, thanking Hugh and Dalian for the help. Emilie tells them to leave the town as soon as possible. Hugh goes out by himself to explore the mountain.

Hugh finds a mine. He reaches the farthest part of the cave. He sees freshly mined ore emitting a bright yellow-green glow. Someone tells him to not get closer. The man introduces himself as the Professor, the one who bought the mine. According to him, the area has deposits of concentrated uranium and radium, radioactive chemical elements. The Professor knows about Hugh’s past. The Professor describes the harmful effects of powerful doses of radioactive radiation. The Professor talks with no regard for the miners’ pain, as if the victims are laboratory mice. His attitude makes Hugh angry. The Professor reveals that he’s trying to create new Phantom Books. Rasiel shows up. She examines Hugh. Soon after, she shows him her tongue. The Professor asks why Hugh acts as Dalian’s key-keeper. Hugh doesn’t answer him. Rasiel and the Professor disappear into the darkness of the mine. Hugh clenches his fist, furious.

Hugh returns to Emilie’s church. He touches the revolver inside his jacket. He sees seven young monks. They carry red bibles. One of them tells Emilie that Mother Eva is waiting for her. Emilie has a book to return. The monks tell Hugh and the Black Biblioprincess to not interfere. One of the monks opens his red book. Electric charges envelope the man. He extends his arm. One of Emilie’s patients is struck by lightning. Hugh checks the victim’s pulse. Hugh looks up, as if grieving for the man. The monk affirms that Hugh wants to grab his revolver. The monk describes the weapon and the number of bullets. It seems like the monks can read minds or have the power of foresight. Hugh can't confront them. After all, the monks know that Hugh won't shoot them. It’s impossible to resist the monks’ miracles. A monk touches a pillar which supports the ceiling. The church collapses.

Luckily, part of the church’s roof had already collapsed in the past, so Hugh and Dalian weren’t smashed. Otherwise, they would be buried alive. Besides the couple, Queneau is the only survivor, although the man is in bad shape. Hugh wants to take him to the town. Queneau tells Hugh to let him die. Queneau explains that the red books are called “Book of Connection”. It connects the minds of all monks and ordinary believers. The Professor is experimenting with this Phantom Book Egg. Queneau tells Hugh and Dalian to not mess with Nudelwald. The sick man dies. Hugh and Dalian decide to save Emilie. Before they leave, Dalian finds a hidden crypt in the basement of the church. Hugh and Dalian find the body of an abbess.

A crowd gathers in the largest church of the monastery. A young abbess in white looks at her flock. Rasiel and the Professor are beside her. The abbess wants to use the Book of Connection to unite the entire world. Suddenly, the singing inside the church stops. The believers make way for Hugh and Dalian. Now Hugh understands that Emilie is the true reader of the Phantom Book. Hugh also knows that the Professor is a key-keeper. The abbess denies to be Emilie. However, Hugh had seen the body of the real Eva at the crypt. It’s revealed that, a few years ago, Emilie and Eva read the Book of Connection. The souls of the sisters Emilie and Eva should have been merged. However, something went wrong, since the manuscript is an incomplete Phantom Book. Eva died, and her soul was absorbed by Emilie.

Emilie-Eva is ready to use the believers to get rid of Hugh and Dalian. However, the latter recites an adapted verse from the Bible, telling everyone to live for the words of God, and for fried breads. The believers, in a state of trance, can only think of fried breads, repeating Dalian’s words. Hugh pulls out a thin book from his pocket. The Professor recognizes the Book of Imprint, a Phantom Book which embeds an order into the soul of a person. Hugh had read the Phantom Book to one of the believers. Since everyone is connected, the others are also brainwashed.

The magic spreads through the Book of Connection network like a virus. As the user of the Book of Connection, only Emilie-Eva remains self-conscious. However, now the Phantom Book Egg is ruined. Now, the Professor won't be able to solve the formula for a controlled fission reaction. The Professor wants to strengthen his country, which was forced to demilitarize after the Great War. Hugh aims his gun at the Professor as he opens the library inside Rasiel. The Professor and his companion disappear, probably exploring the power of a Phantom Book. The Book of Connection network must be stopped. Emilie-Eva must be killed or everyone in the monastery will die. Hugh and Dalian hear the voice of Eva, the childish woman who threw snowballs at them. She asks them to kill her. Dalian gives Hugh the right to open the Dantalian's Bookshelf. Hugh opens a Phantom Book.

Eventually, Hugh and Dalian returned to Nudelwald. Hugh lands the airplane. Dalian is almost hit by a snowball. The nun, surrounded by children, apologizes. She explains that the monastery is closed. She asks about the unusual book under Hugh’s arm. According to him, it’s the Book of Oblivion, a Phantom Book capable of taking away people’s memories. Dalian reveals that she and Hugh have a friend in the monastery, but they won't be able to see her again. The nun offers them coffee. Hugh laughs and accepts.[23]

The Template Book[]

In the afternoon, Kamilla unexpectedly sent a driver and a butler in a car for Hugh and Dalian. The butler doesn’t explain why the couple was requested. Hugh is used to Kamilla’s whims. They aren’t in the way to the familiar cottage of Kamilla’s family. Instead, Hugh and Dalian are taken to a dilapidated estate. Someone shows up to ruffle Dalian’s hair, treating her like a small animal. Dalian hides behind Hugh. Leon is Kamilla’s older half-brother and Hugh’s childhood friend. Hugh is surprised to see him. Leon is the one who sent for Hugh and Dalian. Leon welcomes Hugh and Dalian to the house.

Leon asks Alunda to prepare the tea. She’s the boss of a dwindling crime syndicate. She ended up in such position after her father was killed. Leon is protecting her and arranging her marriage so she can transfer her position to someone else, but a rival organization wants to kill her before the engagement. Leon plans to use Hugh and Dalian’s knowledge about Phantom Books to stop the immortal killer who’s hunting Alunda.

The next morning, Hugh and Dalian visit the old man’s bookstore to find information about the killer Wesley Clade. According to the old man, Wesley’s wounds are instantly healed. Torn limbs instantly grow back. The old man explains that the author Zenova Hallward lived in the same dormitory with Wesley Clade. The late writer is known for the vivid descriptions of his characters. Wesley will remain forever as it’s described in Hallward’s work. Hugh wonders if the immortality will end with the destruction of the Phantom Book. However, the old man shows him a copy of the Template Book written by Hallward. Wesley had arranged for the book to be printed and distributed around the world. Wesley’s immortality will continue as long as a copy of the book exists. Hugh had already lost hope in helping Leon. Dalian asks Hugh to open the book. Hugh checks the first page, amazed.

Hugh and Dalian return to Leon’s estate by late afternoon. Leon quickly wakes up and grabs his gun, mistaking the couple for enemies. Hugh reveals that Wesley owns a Phantom Book. Leon affirms that, in other circumstances, he would take Hugh to grab Kamilla’s breasts as a reward for the information. Hugh ignores the commentary. They hear the sound of an engine. A man in a bloody cloak drives into the estate. Leon tells Hugh and Dalian to leave through the back door. However, the couple wants to try something.

It was getting dark when Hugh and Dalian confronted Wesley Clade. Hugh is impressed by Wesley’s appearance and voice. Hugh introduces himself as a pilot and the grandson of a famous bibliomaniac. Hugh reads the copy of Hallward’s work. The text reveals that Wesley fears to lose his beauty. That’s why he became fear himself and started to kill. Wesley removes the original Template Book from his pocket. Hugh requests the book, but the assassin refuses. Hugh shoots Wesley’s shoulder. The flesh quickly recovers, the blood flows back, as if time went backwards.

Dalian seems satisfied. She tells Hugh to read the Phantom Book. He removes the Book of a Thousand Sorrows from inside the Dantalian's Bookshelf. Wesley feels the danger. The assassin laughs and jumps at Hugh. The latter dodges the attack while reading in a foreign language. Wesley is enveloped by a fiery whirlwind. He keeps laughing, as if underestimating his opponents. The smell of burned flesh fills the air. The original Template Book is destroyed. The fire disappears. Wesley’s clothes are ruined, but his body is unharmed. He explains that there are thousands of copies of the Template Book around the world preserving his immortality. Hugh shoots Wesley’s right hand. This time, the flesh doesn't regenerate. The assassin’s face is distorted by pain and fear. Hugh affirms that soon people will learn that Wesley lost his immortality. The assassin yells in horror and runs away.

Accompanied by Alunda, Leon is about to leave for the capital in his plane on a Sunday morning. He thanks Hugh and Dalian. Hugh shows a copy of the Template Book to Leon. The book is full of typos. It seems like no one bothered to calibrate the machines before starting the production. That’s why Wesley’s immortality ended when the original Template Book was destroyed. Leon bids farewell to Hugh and Dalian.[24]

Book of Coffin[]

Horse and Dalian

Hugh and Dalian are looking for Throstur's house.

Hugh and Dalian explore a small island. He checks his compass, unable to find the destination. They are using a horse. After all, there are no roads around. Distracted, Dalian trips over something. Hugh notices a rope around her leg. She has activated a trap. Soon after, the branches nearby are pulled away, revealing an old man and a tall woman. They introduce themselves. Professor Magnuson and his young student Erna are trying to find something to eat. Hugh, in turn, is searching for the house designed by the famous architect Throstur Orlik. Magnuson reveals that he saw a house in the region. Erna agrees in accompanying Hugh and Dalian. Magnuson asks why Hugh and Dalian are looking for the house. Hugh tells him that Throstur had borrowed a book. The time to return it has come.

They reach the house, which looks more like a crypt. Dalian heads to the entrance to protect herself from the cold and the snow. Erna suddenly steps on her feet to stop her. Dalian falls once again. The student had noticed a crack on the ground. Magnuson and Erna examine the rocks, ignoring the protests of Dalian, who’s still laying on the snow. Dalian looks at Hugh, hoping for help, but he's frowning, looking at the house. There’s a car parked next to it, and a couple arguing.

The beautiful young woman runs to Hugh and grabs his hands, asking him to help her convince the evil man. The man, Svein Kessler, is the owner of the house. Shura Irmania had climbed into the trunk of Kessler's car. The photojournalist wants to collect material about Throstur’s haunted house, but Kessler won't allow her inside. Magnuson and Erna approach the group. After exploring the mountains for days, they ask for a shelter. Kessler reluctantly agrees in letting everyone inside the house.

They find no one inside. Dalian tells Hugh to walk slower or he’ll fall. Hugh doesn’t say it, but he knows that Dalian is afraid of the dark and narrow staircase. They take a break in a large dining room. Kessler explains that Throstur built the house to spend the rest of his short life in peace and quiet. Hugh reveals that, while building the house, Throstur may have been influenced by the Book of the King's Coffin, the book Hugh and Dalian are after. Shura raises her camera, apparently interested in the matter. She heard about the Dantalian's Bookshelf and the collection of Phantom Books owned by Hugh’s grandfather. Hugh affirms that they might find the book in the house’s library.

They divided into groups to search for the library. Shura follows Hugh and Dalian, looking for material to publish. Shura notices that they’ve seen those corridors before. Hugh seems lost. Shura suggests that Throstur designed those confusing corridors to hide something. Hugh stops to think. Dalian, impatient, goes inside a nearby room. Hugh has no choice but to follow her. It looks like the room of Throstur’s daughter, but it's empty. Hugh checks the bedroom behind a partition. He hears a voice, but sees no one. He looks at a mirror and notices someone behind him. A beautiful young woman covered in bandages tells him to leave the house. She quickly disappears. Hugh doesn’t tell Dalian about the encounter. The Biblioprincess stares at him with suspicion.

Hugh, Dalian and Shura leave the room. Dalian falls, tripping in another one of Magnuson’s devices. Magnuson, as an experienced traveler, left marks for them to follow. Shura sets off in the direction pointed by the arrow. Hugh picks up Dalian and follows the photojournalist into a spacious library. There, they find Magnuson, Erna and Kessler. Hugh notices that Erna is looking at an old photo depicting Throstur, his wife and his daughter. Erna tells Hugh that she has no family. Magnuson explains that Erna is an orphan. Erna devoted herself to study, supported by Magnuson. However, she’s not interested in love affairs. Magnuson tells Hugh to consider having a relationship with Erna. At that moment, Dalian yells, staring at something behind Hugh. However, Hugh only sees a dusty bookshelf. According to the Biblioprincess, there is a suspicious man with an animal mask in the library. Hugh knows that Dalian doesn’t have the habit of lying.

Shura finds the Book of the King's Coffin in a corner. She prepares to take a photo, when superheated steam appears in front of her. Hugh pushes her to safety. They hear the voice of a giant, telling them that they won't be allowed to leave. A new rush of steam blocks the way from where everyone entered the library. Hugh grabs Dalian by the hand. The group rushes through a second door, barely escaping from the explosion.

The new room is like a factory floor or a scientific laboratory. There’s a sarcophagus made of ice in the center, a machine keeping it cold. A three-meter giant comes out of the darkness. The creature is made of pressured steam, with the head of a jackal. Hugh barely dodges the large fist. A wave of hot air hits his back. Hugh can’t do anything against steam. Magnuson looks around and finds another door. Before running to safety, Shura notices someone inside the block of ice. Hugh recognizes the young woman covered in bandages. Kessler calls for Iris. He’s hit by the giant’s fist. Shura and Hugh pulls him out of the tomb. Magnuson and Erna close the thick steel door.

Now they are inside a room with giant steam turbines. Magnuson deduces that the house was created to hide and protect the girl inside the icy coffin. Kessler, while being bandaged by Erna, explains that the person inside the sarcophagus is Iris, Throstur’s daughter. More than twenty years ago, Kessler had a relationship with Iris but, since Throstur was against the marriage, the couple ran away. Kessler didn’t have a steady job, and Iris was often sick, so she returned to her father. Kessler bought Throstur’s house in order to see Iris again. Throstur had used the Book of the King's Coffin to preserve his daughter’s body until humanity learns how to resuscitate a person. Magnuson says that they should deactivate the house. After all, it may cause a powerful earthquake, a catastrophe which may reach other countries. They must destroy the coffin, since everything in the house is designed to protect it.

The steam giant is about to enter the room. While pushing Kessler to safety, Hugh tells Shura and Dalian to back away. Magnuson tells Hugh to lie down. The professor uses dynamite to defeat the monster. The group approaches the icy coffin. Hugh requests access to the Dantalian's Bookshelf. Dalian freezes, feeling a piece of glass against her throat. Kessler threatens to kill Dalian because he doesn’t want to lose Iris. At that moment, Erna tells her father to stop. It’s revealed that Erna is the daughter of Kessler and Iris. Erna removes a dynamite from her backpack. She places it over Iris' coffin. Shards of ice are scattered everywhere.

The group leaves the house in the morning. Hugh smiles, realizing that they came to the island in vain, since they didn’t get the Phantom Book. Hugh affirms that at least they prevented a tragedy and saw the reunion between father and daughter. Shura is still interested about the rumors related to the Biblioprincess and the Dantalian's Bookshelf. Shura points the camera at Hugh and Dalian. Hugh is on horseback, offering his hand to Dalian. The photojournalist notices that everyone will leave her behind. She yells at Hugh and Dalian, telling them to wait.[25]

Book of Humanization[]

The high waves shake the small boat, which travels through a narrow strait using its old engine. 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. The captain affirms that monsters live in the local waters. The woman in white coat 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 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. Lucrece invites them to her hotel room. 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. Dalian believes that the man was killed by an employee. Hugh notices that she's inspired by the detective novel in her hands. A man calls for Hugh. The latter smiles at his old friend John 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.

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 takes his guests to his office. There, McGuigan introduces Lecia, his niece. She’s a fragile, mute young girl. Hugh finds her cute. There's a book in her hands. Lecia examines the guests as she hides 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. Lecia pulls Dalian by the hair. The mute girl will take Dalian to the bath and will provide her with 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. An old butler enters the office to warn his master about policemen wishing to talk. As an important figure, McGuigan leaves to answer the questions about Mr. Smythe's death. Meanwhile, 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.

The next morning, Hugh uses McGuigan’s car to explore the island. Lecia guides him. Dalian reluctantly accepts to come along. Hugh stops next to the port. He’s interested in the crime scene. 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. They meet Lucrece once again. 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.

Fifteen years ago, the five men killed the creatures and use their treasures to boost the island's development. 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.

In the evening, McGuigan takes Hugh to a private 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. 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.

Hugh hears the stomp of feet behind him. Hugh and Dalian reach a large natural cave connected to the sea. 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 trio hear an explosion upstairs. Lecia collapses, dropping the book. Dalian points to the staircase, shouting Hugh’s name. He 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.

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. 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. Hugh raises his hands. McGuigan 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. McGuigan explains that the sea devils are kind beings who used to visit the island every few years to have children. 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.

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 locks a door, keeping Hugh, Dalian and Lucrece away from the sea. Hugh and the others hear the sound of a seaplane. McGuigan is flying 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.

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. He tells Lucrece to send it to a photojournalist in Jutland. Hugh tells Dalian to go with Lucrece, but the Biblioprincess decides to go with him. Hugh and Dalian explore the large house. They hear a gunshot. Hugh picks up Dalian and bursts into a room in the center of the house. Hugh lowers his gun. 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.

Hugh tries to convince Haycroft to refuse the military’s offer. Hugh had shared the documents about the transactions that took place fifteen years ago. Unless Haycroft gives up, Lucrece will make sure that the documents reach a friend journalist in Jutland. Haycroft laughs, refusing Hugh’s terms. Hugh and Dalian are surrounded by six veteran soldiers. 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. 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.

The next morning, Hugh and the others walk to the beach. Before Lecia can swim away to live in the sea with Lucrece, Dalian gives the original Book of Humanization to the little girl. Lecia uses her finger to write something on Dalian’s palm. McGuigan walks away, ready to admit his crimes. 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.[26]

Disaster and Temptation[]

Hugh walks an old woman to the entrance of the mansion. She realizes that he has a cold. She worries about him, treating him like a child. Hugh feels uncomfortable. She’s Natalia, the nanny from Hugh’s childhood, when his mother was still alive. Natalia wants to see Hugh married. She suggests Kamilla or Jessica as future wives. Hugh doesn’t want to pursue the subject. Natalia eventually walks away, for Hugh’s relief. Dalian tells Hugh to stay away, otherwise she will be infected. She doesn’t like to see Hugh sick. After all, he’s the one who cooks for her. Someone knocks on the door. Inspector Grosseteste needs help in regard to a certain book. He knows that Wesley died, but perhaps his grandson can help. The old book in Grosseteste’s hand apparently is a grimoire cursed by aliens from Venus, bringing misfortune to its owner.

They have a conversation in the living room. The inspector puts out the cigar after realizing that Hugh is unwell. Grosseteste explains about the case involving the book. He lays the book on the table and leaves the mansion. Later, Hugh examines the book. Dalian is curious to read it, but she keeps her distance. Hugh believes that she’s afraid of being cursed. He leans against the sofa, suffering from a headache. Dalian wonders when Hugh will be attacked by a monster due to the aliens’ curse. However, he doesn’t feel threatened. Dalian slowly gathers courage to read the book. She pushes Hugh, telling him to cook something while she reads. Hugh reluctantly stands up, but he falls soon after, feeling dizzy. Dalian’s face shows no emotion, although her hands start to shake in worry.

The next day, Hugh wakes up with sunlight on his face, feeling a bit better. Dalian is sleeping at the foot of the bed. She had carried him to the bed and placed a wet towel on his forehead. He was bruised, because she had to dragged him. The sheet was wet, because she hadn’t squeezed the towel. It seems like Dalian had read the whole book. Dalian wakes up. She blushes when Hugh expresses his gratitude. She tells him that she was worried about him. Hugh wonders if she’s pranking him. Dalian isn't acting normally, as a capricious and arrogant girl she normally is.

Checking Temperature

Dalian checks Hugh's temperature.

Dalian had prepared soup, a semi-liquid mass of an unpleasant green color. Hugh tastes the soup and begins to cough. He thanks Dalian, but affirms that he has no appetite. Dalian feeds him a spoonful. He falls on his back, exhausted. Hugh lies by saying that the soup was delicious. Dalian presses her forehead against his, checking the temperature. Next, she brings aloe to stick into his nose. According to her, the plant will help against the cold. Hugh wants to run away, but he has no strength. He wonders why she’s being so strange. He glances at the old book. He screams while Dalian takes care of him.

Only when the sun was almost set, Dalian fell asleep, satisfied like a caring nurse after treating her patient. Hugh reflects about the book. Nothing written on it is forbidden knowledge from a Phantom Book, and yet, it's capable of troubling policemen and changing Dalian’s personality. If it was a Phantom Book, it would be enough for Hugh to seal it inside the Dantalian's Bookshelf. Hugh hears footsteps. He's expecting a monster, but Kamilla opens the door with a powerful push.

Kamilla came to check on Hugh after Natalia told her about his cold. Natalia said that Hugh was calling for Kamilla. Natalia was playing with Hugh’s feelings. Kamilla smells the pages of the mysterious book. Dalian wakes up due to the noisy guest. The Biblioprincess can’t remember what happened during the day. Hugh tries to check her temperature, but she rudely hits his arm. She's back to her normal self. Kamilla suddenly stops reading the book to touch Dalian. Kamilla blushes, as if attracted by the Biblioprincess. Kamilla grabs Dalian, adoring her hair and voice. Hugh drags Kamilla away from Dalian. Hugh wonders if the book changed Kamilla’s personality. Kamilla asks if Hugh is jealous. She hugs him, planning to kiss his neck. Dalian feeds her with a spoon of the awful soup. Kamilla coughs and tears up, apparently back to normal. Hugh checks the book once again. It seems like everything is clear to him now.

Grosseteste visits Hugh once again, one week after the book was returned to the police. Hugh helped the police because he discovered that the book was made of an unusual paper which exudes a unique aroma that causes infatuation, like an aphrodisiac. That’s why Dalian and Kamilla had changed so much. The only thing Grosseteste can’t understand is why the book is themed around monsters and aliens. Hugh suggests that the book has been created by aliens. Grosseteste laughs, deeming his words as a joke. The inspector thanks Hugh for his services. Hugh explains that he only was successful because of his stuffy nose.

The police returned the book to its owner, Dunstan Legout, after impregnating its cover with a special green chemical to eliminate the exciting smell. After several months, while reading a newspaper, Hugh learns that Dunstan had disappeared. Neighbors say that, on that evening, they saw a strange luminous object, like a ship, flying west, where Venus shines. Dalian also reads the article over Hugh’s shoulders. They look at each other. They act as if nothing had happened. Hugh smiles and throws the newspaper into the fireplace.[27]

Book of Wisdom II[]

Colorful stalls are lining a street of an old and crowded city next to the sea, one of the most famous tourist destinations in the country. Dalian is arguing with a shopkeeper. The man won't believe that she will eat four crepes. Hugh ensures that she will eat everything. Looking at a heavily secured, old castle hotel, Hugh asks if she has forgot their purpose there. They hear a childish voice singing.

Charlotte smiles to Hugh and draws the attention of everyone around with her childish attitude. She laughs when a young man wearing a beret appears. Eric Kesley is Charlotte’s friend. He affirms that they should go, since Charlotte's parents must be worried about her. Charlotte’s father shows up. He beats Eric badly. Charlotte’s father drags his daughter by the wrist, bringing her to a heavy car for military use. Hugh sees an old acquaintance inside a second car. He wonders what Norman is planning.

Hugh lends a shoulder to Eric. Hugh recommends a doctor. They go to an old part of the city, where Eric lives. Eric had involved Hugh and Dalian in trouble. As exchange, he will accommodate both, since there are no hotel rooms available around the city. The place is crowded because of a conference. The government had collected a large number of scientists to start an experiment.

Inside Eric’s house, he explains how important Charlotte is to him. Eric is worried about her. Charlotte wrote something that caused a huge response among academic societies. Eric affirms that Charlotte changed one and a half years ago. She became extremely smart. Dalian had received a letter from Charlotte. Dalian knows that a Phantom Book is affecting Charlotte. Hugh and Dalian confirm that Charlotte has read the Book of Wisdom.

Hugh and Dalian floating

Hugh uses a Phantom Book to approach Charlotte.

The castle is illuminated by moonlight. Armed men are patrolling, making the atmosphere heavy. Charlotte is writing in a room of a small tower. She welcomes Hugh and Dalian with a smile. She had been waiting for the Black Biblioprincess and her key-keeper. Hugh had used a Phantom Book to go unnoticed. Charlotte is wearing a black dress and holding the Book of Wisdom. Charlotte looks completely different now that she’s holding the Phantom Book. Hugh remembers about the wise kids affected by the Phantom Book. Contrary to that case, apparently Charlotte has a plan for her powers. Suddenly, a servant known as Cecy enters the room. Hugh removes his hat and greets her. She calls for reinforcement.

They are surrounded by armed soldiers. Hugh raises his hands. A tall man laughs while adjusting his glasses, emanating a cold atmosphere. Hugh and Dalian have seen the man before. Norman is an old acquaintance, indebted to Hugh's father. Following Norman’s orders, the soldiers put their guns down. Norman is working for the Defense Committee, directly under the Prime Minister. Hugh can't ask for more information or Norman will have to apprehend them. Hugh asks for a car to the city. Norman arranges a car to the main gate. Charlotte asks Hugh and Dalian to come again tomorrow, at noon. She affirms that they will see snow, which is unexpectedly during that season.

Hugh defeats the agent

Hugh confronts an international agent.

Hugh and Dalian are back to Eric’s place. Eric should be waiting for them, but all the lights are off. Hugh finds Eric tied up on the floor, unable to speak. Hugh grabs a bottle and throws it. The recipient shatters when it reaches the ceiling. It releases an oil solvent. The chemical affects the visibility of a man who's hiding behind Eric's desk. The man cannot aim with his semi-automatic handgun. Hugh kicks the weapon from his hand. Hugh steps on the man and points his own gun. As a war veteran, Hugh is used to situations like that.

The man tried to use Eric as a decoy to obtain information. Hugh reveals himself as a former pilot. The man is an agent of another country. He wanted to spy on Charlotte. According to him, the girl was taken by the Army to develop a device capable of controlling the weather. Shocked, Hugh looks away, allowing the man to hit him in the leg. Hugh almost pulls the trigger, but Dalian tells him that the man is holding a grenade.

The agent is prepared to remove the pin, but someone shoots his hand. The man drops the grenade and is detained by soldiers. Norman has followed Hugh and Dalian. Sarcastically, Norman affirms that the experiment can save lives. Hugh can’t believe that Norman is looking for peace. Norman affirms that Hugh should visit the house at the capital. Hugh’s father will be happy to see his son. Hugh asks how Harris knows that. Harris affirms that Hugh’s father is a very lonely person.

The next day is sunny. It's difficult to believe that they will see snow. Scientists, military officers and government men are gathering in the castle to see the experiment. In a festive mood, children are also waiting in a square next to the site. A big military truck is carrying an awkward device. Charlotte is looking for Eric. Hugh explains that he's suffering after learning that she's been developing the W Machine, a meteorological weapon. They hear a gunshot.

Eric was wounded while trying to stop the experiment. Soldiers are holding him. Charlotte is about to start of the experiment, asking everyone to look at the sky. However, she's shot, falling on her back. Hugh draws his revolver. Cecy, another international spy, was using a semi-automatic pistol. The assassin is trying to reach Charlotte to finish her mission, shooting the soldiers on her way. Hugh pulls the trigger and manages to shoot her weapon down. Cecy surrenders.

Charlotte finally activates the W Machine, making colorful, sweet snow fall from the sky. Charlotte was not trying to develop a meteorological weapon, but to create a scene she had been imagining with Eric since they were little. Norman’s failed experiment makes Hugh laugh. No one will be able to make a meteorological weapon from Charlotte’s dissertation. Norman affirms that Hugh’s father will enjoy that ending. Hugh's father hates the idea of entrusting the security of the country to the powers of Phantom Books. Norman orders the soldiers to discard all the materials. Hugh brings a snowflake to his mouth.[28]

The Girls’ Long Night[]

Miss Roedean told Hugh and Dalian to visit the Cadfael School since she collected some Phantom Books. Jessica Elphinstone finds Dalian reading in the school library. The schoolgirl is disappointed because Hugh is not around. She asks about him. Dalian affirms that Miss Roedean took him to an evening party, since she’s not married yet. The girls eventually lose one of the Phantom Books. They must find the Pioneer Book quickly. After all, its power will be out of control at midnight. They search the school, then they go to the town to look for it.

They fail to find the Phantom Book in time, so a huge plant appears. The girls run to a hill, but they are surrounded by vines. Their only hope is to call for Hugh. He can oppose the plant. After all, as a key-keeper, he’s loved by the Phantom Books. He should be looking for them by now. Jessica elaborates a plan. She reads the Collection of Visions, then the Atargatis Scripture. She falls unconscious, since she’s not the true reader of the Phantom Books. The vines are about to attack Jessica and Dalian. At the last moment, a car pushes the vines away. Hugh had finally found the girls. Dalian wonders how he knew where to find them. Hugh points to the school in the distance. The dormitory has some lights on. The bright squares form letters. Hugh opens the Dantalian's Bookshelf. He reads a Phantom Book, enveloping the city in fog.

Jessica wakes up feeling cold. She’s resting on the passenger seat of Hugh’s car. She’s happy to see him. He had used the Hymn of Hel to freeze the plant. Hugh is driving to the school’s dormitory. The windows formed the message “JD on hill”. Jessica had used the Atargatis Scripture to pour water on her classmates, making them lit up their rooms and, in the process, create a message for Hugh. Jessica did everything from a distance, thanks to the Collection of Visions. It was almost sunrise when they reached the school’s dormitory. The whole dormitory seems in turmoil. Hugh and Dalian leave Jessica in front of the dormitory. Hugh accelerates, going away before he’s involved in the confusion caused by the Phantom Books. Jessica rushes after them, feeling cheated.[29]

Phantom Book of the King[]

Hugh and Dalian visit a hot city in the middle of the Nubian desert. Dalian tells Hugh that she may take pity and give him a little piece of her pastries if he begs. However, Hugh is not interested. He’s looking at a man yelling at the movers on the deck of a ship. Dalian wonders if Lazarus Goldin is the host of the Book of Royal Power. A girl approaches them. She’s Ernie Gaveston, niece of the late Henry Gaveston. Hugh doesn’t recognize her right away, but they have met before, about eight years ago, at Wesley’s house. Hugh mentions how pretty Ernie became. Dalian visibly tenses in jealously. Ernie reveals that she came for Hugh. After all, he has the notes about the Saraharufua Mountain which were written by Henry Gaveston and bought by Wesley. Hugh removes a notebook from his breast pocket. According to Ernie, the notes describe the route to the Phantom Book Cemetery.

Suddenly, Hal and Flamberge show up. Hal takes the notebook from Hugh’s hand. Hal puts the notebook in the pocket at his chest. Hugh knew that Hal would travel there after learning about the Phantom Book Cemetery. Hugh reveals that he had prepared himself for Hal’s presence. The Biblioprincesses and key-keepers are not happy to see each other. Hal wonders if Hugh and Dalian are responsible for the Book of Royal Power falling into Goldin’s hands. However, Ernie reveals that the Book of Royal Power was found by her uncle at the Phantom Book Cemetery. Someone stole the Phantom Book the same night Henry Gaveston killed himself.

A man surrounded by bodyguards interrupts their conversation. Goldin thanks Hugh for the notes he is offering. Since Hugh has valuable information about the Phantom Book Cemetery, he was invited for Goldin’s expedition. Hal wants to burn Goldin’s Phantom Book immediately. The Book Burning Officer calls for Flamberge, preparing to load a Phantom Book in his staff. However, with only a word, Goldin makes Hal freeze like a statue.

Goldin uses the Book of Royal Power, a Phantom Book in the form of a stone tablet, to force Hal to drown himself in the Nile. Hal is fighting so much to oppose the magic, that he may kill himself before reaching the river. Hugh calmly shoots Hal. Hugh tells Goldin that he wished to kill the Book Burning Officer with his own hands. Goldin is annoyed at first, but he accepts Hugh’s explanation. Hugh and Dalian head for the ship with Goldin and his men. Flamberge stays behind, checking Hal’s body. She wonders what Hugh is planning. Hugh affirms that he did what he had to do.

Goldin’s ship drifts along the Nile, almost at the swamps that claimed the lives of many travelers. Hugh recites Henry Gaveston’s notes. The explorer wrote that the Phantom Book Cemetery is located on a high plateau with a unique ecosystem which developed for millions of years while hidden by sheer cliffs. It seems like locals don’t visit the place because they are afraid of monsters. Dalian is angry because Hugh talked with Flamberge earlier. The jealous girl kicks Hugh. He affirms that Flamberge is a beautiful girl. Dalian kicks him again.

Hal interrupts the couple to ask why Hugh had saved him. Hugh had shot Hal in the chest, where the notebook with a metallic plate was. It was the only way to free Hal from the influence of the Book of Royal Power. Hugh also showed the schemes of the ship to Flamberge and Ernie, so they knew how to carry Hal aboard unnoticed. Hugh had told the Book Burning Officer that he had prepared himself. Hugh hopes to hear a “thank you” from Hal.

Hal and Hugh make a truce. It’s revealed that Hugh is following Goldin because there’s no way to oppose the owner of the Book of Royal Power. However, Hugh affirms that giving the power to rule everyone is not the true role of the Phantom Book. He suddenly points his revolver at the bow. The ship shakes violently. The ship hits ten-meter reptiles. Hugh planned to use Hal to eliminate the ancient monsters. That’s why Hal was dragged into the ship. The bullets from Hugh’s revolver can’t pierce through the thick skin of the crocodiles.

Hal loads his staff with a Phantom Book from the Long Lost Library inside Flamberge. He shoots flames at the crocodiles, but the animals are not burned to ashes. Hugh deduces that the creatures are real, not something created by forbidden knowledge. A giant fish knocks Hal down with a blow of its tail. Hugh is ready to open the Dantalian's Bookshelf to save Hal. However, Goldin shows up to use his royal power. He raises his small tablet, forcing the monsters to freeze. It’s revealed that Goldin killed Henry Gaveston to obtain the Book of Royal Power. Goldin asks Hugh what Hal and Flamberge are doing aboard the ship. Goldin’s bodyguards raise their guns. Hugh raises his hands in silence. Goldin doesn’t trust Hugh anymore.

Flamberge and Dalian are shackled and tied together in a corner of the wagon. Goldin watches as Hugh and Hal push the wagon with the rest of the crew. They are climbing the Saraharufua Mountain, the supposed location of the Phantom Book Cemetery. Hal collapses. He’s wounded from the fight against the giant crocodiles and fishes. Ernie kisses his cheek to disinfect his wound. Hugh laughs. He notices that Hal can be very innocent.

They reach the plateau where they find a group of stones forming bizarre, twisting columns raising into the sky. The crew wants to rest, but Goldin is against it. He grabs his Book of Royal Power, which gives him an intimidating aura. A shock wave pushes everyone away and breaks the wagon. Hugh deduces that the power of the Book of Royal Power increased because they are close to the Phantom Book Cemetery.

Hal tells Goldin to stop. Goldin orders Hal to kill Flamberge, then to kill himself. Hal tries to resist, but he’s forced to grab Flamberge by her neck. Hugh removes four ancient stones tablets from inside the Dantalian’s Bookshelf. Hal regains control of his own body. Goldin can’t control Hugh. The latter also has the Book of Royal Power. Hugh had used Goldin to take the Phantom Books to the Phantom Book Cemetery. Hugh reads the tablets, which lit up. Hal notices that the columns around them are also made of shiny stone tablets. He’s looking at the Phantom Book Cemetery found by Gaveston, a place where those Phantom Books are born, where they find their last refuge. Hugh explains that the Book of Royal Power was using Goldin, not the opposite.

Ernie eventually knocks Goldin to the ground and presses her parasol against his throat, ready to get revenge for her uncle. Ernie speaks in a male voice. It’s revealed that she’s in fact Gaveston II, Henry Gaveston’s nephew and an explorer of Tibet. Hugh knew about his identity from the start. Gaveston II thanks Hugh for his intervention. Thanks to Hugh, Gaveston II also found an interesting person. The explorer turns his gaze at Hal. Hugh places the tablets back into the columns. The ground begins to shake. The Phantom Book Cemetery will soon disappear.

The crew boarded the ship when the Saraharufua Mountain erupted. The eruption ended after a few hours. Hal asks Hugh why he risked his own life to return the tablets to the Phantom Book Cemetery. Hugh wanted to help the tablets return home and preserve the memories they collected. Hal believes that the tablets were destroyed with the eruption. However, according to Hugh, the eruption was deliberately caused by the tablets. They used the energy from the eruption to leave the planet and travel to another place.

The Book Burning Officer threatens to burn Dalian. Hugh removes the Book of the Descendant of the Mist from his pocket. Hal recognizes the Phantom Book that opens a passage in the spacetime. However, the Phantom Book can only transport the user for a few kilometers. Hugh will go insane if he tries to go further. Otherwise, he may die in the middle of the desert. After reading a few lines, Hugh looks up at the sky. He sees an airplane flying over them. Hugh and Dalian disappear before Hal can attack them. Hugh had planned everything. Hal promises to corner them someday.[30]

The Last Book[]

Hugh and Kamilla are having tea in the guest room. Dalian wakes up. She’s not happy to see. Kamilla gives her a box of cookies, the kind that recently became popular. Dalian opens the box and finds not only the cookies, but also a book wrapped in wax paper. According to Kamilla, when you buy the cookies, you also gain a book, as part of an advertisement campaign. The book Dalian obtained is part of a collection of eight books. The Biblioprincess seems thoughtful.

In the afternoon, Hugh and Dalian walk past the busy shops. Dalian is determined to read all the books from the collection. As always, Hugh can’t argue with her. He chuckles, realizing that Dalian loved the cute book. However, she would never admit it. Dalian enters a small grocery store and rudely asks for cookies. However, the grocer affirms that the cookies have been sold out. Furious, Dalian runs out into the street, looking for another shop. After visiting three more places, Dalian finally finds a box. She rudely tells the shopkeeper, an old woman, to give her the box. The old woman has a hearing problem, which makes the Biblioprincess more impatient. The old woman is selling the cookies for three million shillings. Dalian feels insulted with such a price. However, the old woman accepts a five-shilling coin from Hugh.

They visited more than ten shops, bought lots of boxes and returned to the house. Now Dalian has all books, except for the first one. Hugh feels sick after eating so many cookies. He refuses to eat more. Dalian plans to buy more boxes to finally complete her collection. According to her, she feels uneasy knowing that her collection is incomplete. Perhaps the books are in fact Phantom Books that control the reader until all volumes are obtained. Hugh believes that Dalian is only making up an excuse. Although she doesn’t admit, she loved the cute books. Hugh goes to bed, keeping his distance from her obsession. Dalian calls him a coward and a traitor. She decides to continue her search without him.

The next morning, Dalian walks into the shopping area. She’s nervous, since she never left the house by herself before. Hugh is always with her. She looks for more cookie box. During her adventure, she teams up with Judy Gainer, a schoolgirl also obsessed with the collection. They finally find a shop where they can buy the boxes. However, the shopkeeper affirms that they can only buy what they can eat. The girls eat lots of cookies. The pastries now feel bland and unpleasant. After buying four boxes each, the girls reach their limit, unable to eat more. Hugh finally finds Dalian. The Biblioprincess seems emotionally moved. She tells Hugh to eat the cookies, but he refuses. Hugh realizes that Judy is another collector. The schoolgirl shows her books. Dalian almost chokes, shocked. It’s revealed that Dalian has the volume that Judy is missing, and vice versa.

Hugh and Kamilla are having tea in the guest room. Dalian wakes up. She’s not happy to see Kamilla. Dalian doesn’t want more trouble. Kamilla ignores Dalian’s rudeness and gives her a box of cookies. Hugh, laying on the couch, tries to hold his laugh. According to Kamilla, the company has a new advertisement campaign. The box has a new design, the cookie a different color. Now, there are thirty-three books to collect, including a very rare volume. Dalian hides behind a chair, terrified.[31]

Vignette of Eternal Twilight[]

Hugh drives to the castle of the Marquess of Asquith. He wakes up Dalian, who slept on the passenger seat while reading a book. Although she was drooling, Dalian affirms that she was only meditating. She’s not happy to attend the event. However, she decided not to leave Hugh alone. Otherwise someone else would find their target first. Hugh drives through the fortress of the castle and abruptly brakes the car. The road is blocked by policemen, including a two-meter huge man. He walks to the car, but he’s pushed aside by a girl carrying an American folding camera.

Hugh and Dalian meet Shura once again. The girl is happy to see Hugh and Dalian. The police are blocking her way, so she hopes that the couple can help her enter the castle. It takes some time for Hugh and Dalian to remember Shura Irmania, a photojournalist from Jutland. They finally remember her after noticing her checkered hat. Shura is also looking for the Vignette of Eternal Twilight. The large man interrupts their conversation. He’s Harban, a policeman. Hugh confirms Shura’s identity. Harban asks if Hugh’s name is in the guest list. Hugh refuses to share more information before the policeman introduces himself. The tense moment ends when they see Grosseteste.

The inspector knows Hugh, the grandson of the famous bibliomaniac Wesley Disward. Grosseteste apologizes for stopping Hugh. However, Harban still suspects and dislikes Hugh. The latter came to the event to find the Vignette of Eternal Twilight, a Phantom Book that the late Marquess of Asquith hid in the castle. The Marquess was a famous and powerful bibliomaniac who bought the valuable book as a gift for his wife. However, he sealed the book somewhere before his death. On her birthday celebration, the Marquise of Asquith invites people and offers a huge reward to the person who finds the Phantom Book. Hugh asks what the police are doing there. Grosseteste affirms that he got a letter from Mithril. The Phantom Book Thief wrote that she will steal a Phantom Book from the Asquith castle. Hugh heard the name “Mithril” before.

Inside the huge castle, Hugh meets Lyfia Lavers Asquith, daughter of the Marquess. Hugh hasn’t seen her for a long time. They were part of the same equestrian club. He stares at her, surprised. Lyfia believes that Hugh will save her once again. She hopes that he doesn’t find the Vignette of Eternal Twilight. But if he finds it, she’ll do what she couldn’t ten years ago. Lyfia leaves, surrounded by maids, so Hugh has no time to ask her what she means.

A tall man approaches the group to ask about Hugh’s relation with Lyfia. He’s Adam Marchbanks, head of a detective agency. Hugh had read about him solving the case of a theft of a Beresford painting. Marchbanks was hired by Lyfia to find the Vignette of Eternal Twilight. He tells Hugh to stay away from her. After all, Marchbanks is trying to take her to bed. According to him, that’s how a private detective obtains important information. Annoyed, Hugh waves his hand, as if driving away a fly. Marchbanks eventually walks away to flirt with the maids. Hugh sees the Marquise of Asquith in the distance. He chuckles, noticing how poisonous she looks.

Hugh, Dalian and Shura walk to the library. Dalian is in a bad mood. According to Shura, Dalian is sulking because of Hugh’s relationship with Lyfia. Hugh is used to Dalian acting like that. Fifteen other guests examine the library, looking for the Vignette of Eternal Twilight. Policemen stand at the entrance, waiting for Mithril. Accompanied by Harban, Grosseteste approaches Hugh. The latter sympathizes with Grosseteste. After all, it will be hard to find Mithril among so many guests. Grosseteste asks Hugh about the Phantom Book. Hugh’s acquaintance, the owner of an old bookstore, affirmed that the Vignette of Eternal Twilight is a picture book that preserves the youth of the reader, although the latter will have to bear the burden of a terrible sin. Hugh asks Grosseteste about Mithril. It’s revealed that the master of disguise sends letters of warning to the police sometimes, before committing theft.

There’s a lot of people ready to kill for the Marquise’s reward. Hugh wonders why the Marquise allows the search only once a year. If she wants the Phantom Book to be found, she ought to hire specialists to look for it all year round. Shura suggests that the Phantom Book doesn’t exist, and that the Marquise is only stirring up people’s interest in a false legend. Hugh confirms that the Vignette of Eternal Twilight exists. Dalian closes her book and grabs a pocket watch in Hugh’s pocket. It’s about time. The other guests leave the library to dine in the banquet hall. Now that the library is empty, Hugh pushes a bookshelf, opening a secret door. He’s Wesley’s grandson, so he knows how bibliomaniacs think. Hugh wonders if they are the first to find the dark passage.

Hugh, Dalian, Shura and Harban walk along the secret hallway, going underground. Hugh notices fresh footprints. Marchbanks greets them. It seems like he was passionately hugging a maid a second ago. The detective had obtained important information from the woman. Marchbanks didn’t think Hugh would find that place. The detective deems Hugh a worthy rival. Marchbanks promises to share the glory for finding the Phantom Book, but he’ll take all the money. He reaches for the doorknob of a thick metal door, but he’s pushed away by Harold Dawson, one of the Marquise’s guests. The latter probably pretended to leave the library, only to follow Hugh and the others.

Vignette

Hugh and the others find the Vignette of Eternal Twilight.

Dawson opens the door, bursting into the secret room with an old picture book in the center. He opens the Phantom Book and screams. The pages turn into a small castle, identical to the original one where they are. Suddenly, the walls and floor sway momentarily. The pop-up book disappears. The maid looks frightened. She glances at the ceiling and runs out of the room. Feeling the danger, Hugh and the others follow her. Hugh grabs Dalian’s arm, but the Biblioprincess falls. Harban grabs her by the head, as if holding a rugby ball. The ceiling collapses, crushing Dawson to death.

They walk along the network of tunnels beneath the castle, reaching a fragrant garden. The air seems different. They check their watches, only to learn that time has stopped. Harban sees no guests or servants around. Dalian notices that the front gate is gone. They can’t leave the fortress. Hugh compares their situation with the Mary Celeste case. Back inside the castle, they see a young woman in luxurious dress. Hugh mistakes her for Lyfia. Evelyn, the maid, shows up. She asks her master to save her. After all, the maid had fulfilled her task by taking the detective to the secret room. Harban realizes that the young woman in luxurious dress is the Marquise, although she looks as young as her daughter Lyfia. Several automata appear behind Evelyn. Hugh fires his weapon, barely affecting the monsters. Harban tells Hugh to run away with the others. The policeman stays behind.

They hide in the library. Hugh has only three bullets left. Shura wonders if the woman in luxurious dress is really the Marquise. The latter should be over fifty. Hugh reveals that Lyfia hasn’t changed a bit in ten years. That’s why Hugh stared at her in surprise before. Hugh is certain that the Vignette of Eternal Twilight exists, because it’s said that its reader does not age. The Phantom Book is preventing Lyfia and the Marquise from ageing. Hugh wonders why Evelyn took Marchbanks to the secret room. It’s revealed that the Phantom Book uses a victim’s life to bestow eternal youth to the reader. No one would miss Marchbanks or Shura. That’s why they were invited, and that’s why people disappear every year in the castle. Hugh reveals that they are inside the Phantom Book, explaining why they hadn’t seen the other guests. They are imprisoned inside a fortress, where twilight never ends, a place where the reader has absolute power, even to create magical automata.

The Marquise seems to be listening to them, because two dolls materialize, blocking the exit. Hugh shoots at one of the creature’s knee. The monster collapses, but it continues to approach. Two more grim reapers appear. Shura is about to be cut by one of the creatures, but she’s saved by another automaton. The grim reaper turns into a policeman. Hugh knows that the hero is not Harban. The fake policeman transforms once again, assuming the form of a beautiful woman holding a silver knife. Mithril smiles and removes her mask. Mithril uses the Faceless Book, a Phantom Book in the form of a mask, that allows her to copy others’ appearance and strength. Mithril defeats the monsters.

A small girl suddenly appears in the air, holding wooden dolls. The Marquise looks even younger, now that Dawson and Evelyn were sacrificed. She summons gargoyles to surround Hugh and the others. Hugh steps back to protect Dalian. The Biblioprincess has a plan to defeat her. It’s revealed that the Vignette of Eternal Twilight reproduces the real world, but not perfectly. There’s a limit for the amount of information it can handle. That’s why it stops time, it abducts only a small group of people, and it works only once a year. If the Phantom Book is overloaded, the world it creates will end. A method to overload the Phantom Book is bringing a lot of books. Dalian grants Hugh access to the Dantalian's Bookshelf. He releases an avalanche of books from the hole on her chest. The world inside the Vignette of Eternal Twilight is destroyed by the huge amount of information.

Hugh finds himself in the real world, at the Marquess’ library. Dalian is covered by a mountain of books. Marchbanks uses the opportunity to knock Mithril down. Hugh tells Shura to help Dalian. He runs to the exit of the library. He hears the scream of a maid. At the Marquise's bedroom, the smell of blood is in the air. On the bed, there’s an old-haired woman with a dagger stuck out of her chest. There’s an old pop-book on her lap. Lyfia stands by the bed, splattered with blood. She remembers when her horse broke his leg. On that occasion, Hugh encouraged her to make a hard decision, to free the animal from suffering. Now, Hugh had saved Lyfia again. Lyfia was afraid of her young mother. Lyfia was afraid of ageing. That’s why she looked for victims that would keep her and her mother young. However, Lyfia should have killed her mother a long time ago. Lyfia coughs and wipes the blood from her lips. She had poisoned herself. She and her mother will finally pay for their sins. Lyfia starts to age, now that the curse of the Vignette of Eternal Twilight ended. She doesn’t want Hugh to see her like that. He turns away, fulfilling her last request.

Hugh and Dalian walk back to the car in the morning. The Biblioprincess is angry because Hugh left her behind, covered in books. Hugh had already apologized, but she continues pouting. Hugh and Dalian find Shura standing next to the car. The photojournalist has disposed of her broken camera. Shura asks for a ride to the station. Grosseteste shows up to exchange words with Hugh one last time. Grosseteste smiles, satisfied with Mithril’s capture. He was alarmed knowing that she had disguised herself as Harban. But now she is locked up, according to the inspector. Marchbanks took away her Phantom Book. However, Hugh reveals that Marchbanks is Mithril’s henchman. The Faceless Book confiscated by the police is fake. Before Hugh can say more, Grosseteste hastily says goodbye and runs away, trying to find Marchbanks and Mithril. Shura affirms that she’s sorry for the inspector. However, Hugh knows about her true identity. Mithril reveals herself.

Hugh suspected that Mithril had disguised herself as Shura, because the photojournalist would never part with her camera, even if broken. Mithril removes her mask, turning into a beautiful woman in white coat. The Biblioprincess tells the thief to return the books. Mithril had stolen the books released by Dalian. Mithril didn’t want the Vignette of Eternal Twilight. She wanted to destroy the Phantom Book using the Dantalian’s Bookshelf. Mithril removes several books from her pocket. She took the books when the world of the Vignette of Eternal Twilight was about to collapse.

Mithril knew that Hugh and Dalian would visit the castle to find the Phantom Book. Mithril planned everything, she used Lyfia and everyone else, everything to obtain a book from the Dantalian’s Bookshelf. Unfortunately, Mithril couldn’t prevent the deaths of Dawson and Evelyn. But Hugh respects the thief for saving Shura and for helping Lyfia free herself from the Marquise's curse. Perhaps that’s why Hugh didn’t deliver her to Grosseteste. The thief gives the stolen books back to the Biblioprincess. Dalian asks about Shura. Mithril decided to help Hugh and Dalian. The couple wouldn’t want an article about the Dantalian’s Bookshelf in the papers. Mithril jumps in the air, disappearing. It’s revealed that Shura was caught by the police, who mistook her for the Phantom Book Thief.[32]

Fragments[]

Book of Lifetime[]

At a pub, Hugh reads a book while drinking ale. He has a brief conversation with an old man. Hugh enjoys reading, while the old man hates books. The latter affirms that the only interesting books are those who describe the lives of everyone. The old man reveals that, when he was a child, he entered a maze-like library and found his own Book of Lifetime. He glued the first and last pages together in order to trick death. However, now the old man is cursed to live a boring, repetitive, endless life. The old man begs for Hugh’s help. Hugh promises to destroy the old man’s Book of Lifetime if he ever finds it. The old man falls asleep. The pub owner affirms that the old man always tells the same story when he gets drunk. Hugh doesn’t seem to have dismissed what the old man said.[33]


Bar (manga)

Hugh listens to the old man's story.

The Lovers[]

A depressed man is sat on a bench. Everyone at the park can see his sad crying. The man has a dagger against his wrist, ready to kill himself. Hugh and Dalian approach him. Hugh soon regrets his decision to ask what's happening. The unhappy man explains that he had been abandoned by his girlfriend. Dalian asks if he would ever do the same. The man affirms that he would never betray his lover. The girl gives a book to the man.

After a few days, Hugh meets the man once again at the park. The latter is smiling. He has a sandwich on his lap. It was prepared by his girlfriend. Hugh asks if the relationship has resumed, but that is not the case. The man happily hugs his book. Although no one else notices it, his new girlfriend appears when he starts to read. Sometimes he would mumble to himself while flipping through the book, as if there was a loved one at his side. Hugh sees him again after a few days. Again, the man seems very happy, talking to himself. However, Hugh notices that he has a different book in his hands. The man just received this new book. According to him, he doesn’t hate the previous book, but the current one suits him better. While reading the new book, a new lover would appear to him.

A few days passed. Hugh and Dalian return to the park during a quiet night. The man was sat on the bench without moving. There’s a dagger in his cold chest and a puddle of blood at his feet.[34]

The Beautiful Woman's World[]

The woman is welcomed by Hugh and Dalian. After they introduce themselves during tea, the guest affirms that she will kill herself because she is not the most beautiful woman in the world. Hugh examines her. Although her features are not impressive, she is nicely dressed and her skin and hair are well cared. She heard rumors about a strange book that contains forbidden knowledge. The woman tells Hugh to use the book to change her appearance. He tries to convince her that eventually a man will love her more than anyone else. However, the woman sees their conversation as her last hope. She prepares to cut her wrists, when Dalian finally speaks. The woman leaves the mansion with the book. Hugh wonders if the woman will be all right. Dalian affirms that beauty is something decided by others. Those who depend of others to value themselves are unable to be happy.[35]

Book of Hypnosis[]

At a bar, Hugh is drinking ale and reading an old foreign book. A troublesome middle-aged man starts a conversation. He believes that Hugh knows a lot about books. The middle-aged man asks if he knows about Phantom Books. The middle-aged man knows about a Phantom Book containing knowledge about hypnotism, with power to control any human. The middle-aged man reveals a book he was hiding. He had already read it. Now he only needs to finish the spell. He opens the book and quickly speaks some words. Hugh acts too late. Life disappears from his face. He relaxed his arms that were at his pocket. A large revolver drops on the floor.

The middle-aged man picks up the gun and gives it back to the owner. The middle-aged man tells Hugh to shoot the bartender. The bartender is shot in the head and dies. The other customers scream in panic. The middle-aged man tells Hugh to kill everyone. The young man kills the four customers. Finally, the middle-aged man orders Hugh to kill himself in the count of three with the last bullet. Hugh presses the trigger with the gun pointed at his own temple.

The bartender explains that the bothersome middle-aged man comes every evening, making a noise while reading that strange book. The man even tries to steal the other customers’ purses from time to time. Hugh speaks to himself about the middle-aged man. It seems like the latter is having a nice dream after reading a Phantom Book which puts its reader into a trance. Hugh smiles and finishes his ale.[36]

Waterside Flower[]

A young beautiful woman is drinking at a bar. Hugh is enjoying his drink while reading a book. He asks for a second dose. The woman asks in a flirtatious manner why he's reading there. He affirms that he has nothing else to do. The woman believed that he's reading because he enjoys books. She, on the other hand, hates books and the men who read them. After all, she had a wonderful lover, but they broke up because he had only eyes for a book. According to the woman, the book shows the ideal beauty from someone’s point of view. Hugh claims that there are people who fall in love with books. So, it would be normal to exist someone jealous of a book. The woman thanks for the kind words.

Hugh asks if she heard about Phantom Books. If the woman’s lover was charmed by a Phantom Book, maybe Hugh can contact his friend to help. The woman bursts out laughing, gasping for air. The woman now knows why her lover was attracted to the book. She removes a small volume from her purse and places it in front of Hugh. It’s the book she took while her lover was asleep. The woman tells Hugh to not fall under its spell. However, the woman believes that Hugh will be fine. The bartender asks about the book. Hugh affirms that it was a gift from another customer. Hugh explains that the book reflects the perfect beauty. He hands the book out to the bartender. Puzzled, the bartender opens the book. He sees no letter or pictures, only two mirrored metal surfaces reflecting the reader’s face.[37]

Book of Imitation[]

The art student tells Hugh and Dalian about his Phantom Book. The art student did a good job in drawing her portrait on the cover after observing her beauty from far away day after day. The moment he finished the portrait, the Phantom Book showed her true essence, her past, thoughts and feelings. He did that because he didn’t want to fall only for her appearance. Now the art student is certain that she’s the one for him. The man is ready to confess to her. As promised, the man leaves the Phantom Book behind. He doesn’t need it anymore. He leaves the coffee shop.

With a sad smile, Hugh wonders if he should have stopped him. Dalian tells Hugh to leave the art student alone. Hugh and Dalian know that the book is an unfinished Phantom Book. They also know that the art student painted two women. He didn’t realize that they were twins. The Phantom Book Egg shows the exact opposite personality of the person depicted on the cover. The art student fell in love with women of terrible personality. Hugh takes a sip of cooled tea. He smiles. According to him, at least the art student reached his goal. The art student will learn that he fell only for their beauty.[38]

References[]

  1. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 7.
  2. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 5, volume 2.
  3. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 1.
  4. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 1.
  5. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 1.
  6. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 1.
  7. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 2.
  8. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 2.
  9. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 2.
  10. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 2.
  11. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 3.
  12. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 3.
  13. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 3.
  14. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 3.
  15. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 5, volume 3.
  16. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 4.
  17. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 4.
  18. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 4.
  19. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 4.
  20. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 5.
  21. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 5.
  22. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 5.
  23. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 4, volume 5.
  24. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 6.
  25. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 6.
  26. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 6.
  27. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 7.
  28. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 7.
  29. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 7.
  30. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 8.
  31. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 8.
  32. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 3, volume 8.
  33. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Fragment 2, volume 1.
  34. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Fragment 1, volume 2.
  35. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Fragment 2, volume 3.
  36. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Fragment 1, volume 4.
  37. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Fragment 1, volume 5.
  38. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Fragment 2, volume 7.
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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