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The title of Chapter 019 is "Homunculus."

Official Blurb[edit | edit source]

Firo learns more about Szilard from Ennis, but what he doesn't know about Dallas just might kill him...[1]

Characters in order of Appearance[edit | edit source]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Ennis explains to Firo Prochainezo that Szilard Quates and Maiza Avaro are alchemists who obtained immortality on a ship called the Advena Avis. Firo recalls both how shooting Szilard to death did not kill him and how Maiza said his brother and friends were killed, to which Ennis replies that Szilard 'ate' many of the people on board the ship after becoming immortal—Maiza's brother included.

She further relates how Szilard jumped overboard and washed ashore on the American content. Bolstered by the knowledge he had obtained through the devouring process, he spent the next two centuries conducting extensive research. Among the fruits of his research included the ability to make homunculi—of which Ennis is one. Her esoteric explanation of her creation, culturation, and connection to Szilard only confuses Firo, but he understands her simpler version well enough: that if Szilard wills Ennis' death, she will die.

This outrages Firo to know end, and he is not placated by Ennis musing that she is like a daughter to her master; gripping her shoulders, he objects that no father would treat his daughter like a slave. He then assures her that she is no family of Szilard's, and that Maiza Avaro and the Martillos are surely thrashing him as they speak.

Dallas Genoard, James, and their third friend spy Firo by the courtyard archway, and Dallas mockingly greets him—and Ennis too, pleased by his good luck to find both thorns in one place. He announces that he and his friends plan on skipping town, but only after they kill Firo. So saying the three men procure their machine guns. Firo steps in front of Ennis to shield her, whom Dallas reminds "did a number" on him on his friends just like Firo did.

At Dallas' clear murderous intent toward both of them, Firo inwardly scrambles for a way to at least get Ennis out of their current situation but finds no solutions forthcoming. In such solutions' stead, however, are the three Gandor brothers Keith, Berga, and Luck, the latter of whom presses the end of his gun against Dallas' head while Keith and Berga do the same with his two friends.

Luck asks Dallas where he obtained the machine guns, and Dallas lies on the spot: first, he claims that the guns are Firo's; second, he claims they witnessed Firo mow down several Gandor men with a machine gun at the Gandors' headquarters the night before. He is confused when Luck asks how he knew about the Coraggioso incident, given his claim that he followed Firo; Luck reveals that not only are the Gandors and Firo childhood friends, they were with Firo at his promotion party the night before, while Mike and the other Gandor men were being killed.

He then informs firo that he and his brothers hurried the rest of the way when they heard gunfire, but otherwise have no idea what is going on. Berga, from where he is crouching by one of the bodies, asks if they can claim it was self-defense due to the machine guns—but Ennis shouts for them to tie the three men up first, as they are imperfect immortals. Bewildered, Berga asks what she means; in the next comment, the corpse at his feet grins, and shoots him dead with his machine gun.

Both Luck and Keith call Berga's name, while Ennis wonders at the trio's oddly swift regeneration speed. Firo curses, and Dallas laughs as the last of the blood zips back into the hole in his forehead.

Inside Alveare, Maiza clutches his broken left arm—an injury inflicted by Szilard, standing before him. Szilard calls him weak, presuming that Maiza trained on his own while Szilard obtained power through other methods. These methods involved giving mortals an imperfect version of the Cure-All Elixir—thereby making them incomplete immortals—and devouring them to obtain their knowledge, an ability that incomplete immortals do not possess. The implication is stark: Szilard has given the elixir to many a powerful man over the years so he could obtain their strength.

Szilard strides over to the crate on a nearby table and opens it, remarking that Maiza did not give 'it' to anyone after all. At Maiza's confusion, he explains that the crate contained the liquor of immortality he and Maiza once drank, and he calls the Martillos fools—though he wonders if Maiza did not have the demon manipulate their souls. Though he does not understand now, he expects that he will, and he reaches his right hand toward Maiza's forehead to devour him.

The sound of machine-guns echoes from the outside, distracting Szilard just long enough for Maiza to throw a bottle in his face and dive through the nearest closed window. Szilard follows, and is hit by his very own automobile—which Isaac & Miria are commandeering.

References[edit | edit source]

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