|N/A||You Are Here||Prologue|
In a 'certain month' of 1932, Isaac & Miria—both dressed in British Navy uniforms—anxiously confer over a newspaper article in the Alveare. 'Ice Pick Thompson' has struck again, according to the headlines, and Isaac proclaims that their fears "have been realized." Firo Prochainezo, overhearing, stops and asks if they know something about the killer; they do not know exactly what Ice Pick Thompson is, as it turns out, but they are sure it is terrible news.
After Firo explains that Ice Pick Thompson is a serial killer, Isaac reassures Miria that all they need to do to protect themselves is don non-human disguises—his logic being that homicidal people only target humans. He proposes that they disguise themselves as dragons specifically, taking inspiration from an Oriental legend, but Firo points out that a dragon could simply eat a serial killer rather than hide from them.
Isaac objects on the grounds that dragons are creatures "fated to be killed by humans," citing a myth in which a man named "Sig something-or-other" slew a dragon. Czeslaw Meyer deduces Isaac is thinking of Sigurd, a figure from Norse mythology, and explains all three of Miria's own esoteric references with casual ease. Rather than thanking him for the help, Firo points out that none of this actually helps him to do his job and suggests that Czes learn information that is actually useful.
He backtracks when Czes apologizes, taken aback by the serious tone to Czes' apology. It is as if Czes has "put a wall between them," greeting Firo and the others with a smile when Firo suspects there must be a more mature 'look' hiding behind his cheerful countenance.
Miria and Isaac are still absorbed in their strategy discussion, having run into the snag that it is quite possible they could turn into dragons that are weaker than humans altogether. In trying to think of the one thing that humans can never defeat, Isaac hits upon 'time' as the answer: he and Miria must become Time itself, thereby rendering themselves invincible to the serial killer's attacks.
Czes, grinning, asks how exactly they plan on seeing this idea through. Miria recalls the aphorism that 'time is money', which Isaac interprets to mean that money would best take down a serial killer. Of course, that means they now have to figure out how to become money, and Firo wearily leaves them to their conversation in favor of sitting at the counter. The original topic of Ice Pick Thompson has left him vaguely anxious but moreover selfishly unafraid; after all, his loved ones are invincible.
Even then, all of the murders thus far have occurred on Keith's turf and the Runorata Family's turf – not the Martillo Family's turf. He feels a little guilty at his thought processes with respect to the victims, but finds it ironic all the same considering that he and his companions can never die.
Characters in order of Appearance
- Though Isaac is specifically referring to European dragons rather than Asian dragons, Miria invokes two Japanese expressions: Garyoutensei (畵龍點睛), and Ryuutoudabi (龍頭蛇尾). Garyoutensei describes the completion of a work's most important section, and is derived from a legend about the Chinese painter Wikipedia:Zhang Sengyou. According to legend, Zhang failed to draw two dragons' pupils when painting four dragons for a temple mural. When he painted the eyes at the Abbot's insistence, the dragons came alive and flew away. Ryoutoudabi literally translates to "The head is a dragon, but the tail is a snake," meaning a situation that begins well but ends badly.
- Both expressions contain the character for 'dragon'.
- The next three references Miria makes are to Fafnir, Komodo Dragons, and Kaya-no-hime. Czes identifies Fafnir as the dragon that Sigurd slew (also pointing out that Wikipedia:Richard Wagner renamed Sigurd 'Siegfried' in his opera about the hero), explains that Komodo Dragons are a type of large lizard discovered twenty years back, and that Kaya-no-hime is slightly similar to a Japanese goddess who is conflated with nozuchi, a snakelike yōkai.
- Miria compares the puzzle of how they can 'become money to the mystery of the Mary Celeste. The Mary Celeste was an abandoned merchant ship that was found drifting in the Atlantic on December 4, 1872. The reason for the ship's circumstances remain an unsolved mystery.
- "Something stronger than humans… Something humans could never beat… When do humans die…? Well, all humans die eventually… I know! Time! Humans can’t beat time! In other words, we just need to become time itself! If we do that, then the killer won’t get us!" —Isaac, to Miria