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The title of Chapter 020 is "Intruder."

Official Blurb[edit | edit source]

Ennis must choose whether to obey her master or her own heart, and Isaac and Miria commit several felonies in an attempt to be helpful.[1]

Characters in order of Appearance[edit | edit source]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Maiza Avaro crashes through an Alveare window into the alley outside, determined to not die until he has killed Szilard Quates once and for all. However, he stops in his tracks at the sound of an automobile and Miria Harvent screaming, and he turns to see the vehicle hitting Szilard—and Isaac Dian at the steering wheel.

A short while earlier. Isaac and Miria's hunt for Dallas Genoard leads them back to Alveare, where they spot "Ennis'" car parked outside. This only further confirms their suspicions that Dallas is trying to enact revenge on their heroine—and the sound of machine gun fire rings out not a second later. Ennis trembles and turns to Isaac for ideas, whereupon she finds him hotwiring the car. His idea to ram them with the car (as vehicle > machine gun) is met with sound approval, so they drive the car 'round to the back of the shop.

In the alleyway, Dallas and his two friends prepare to make tracks—only for Isaac and Miria to come barreling down the alley in their direction. The trio cannot outrun a car, and Isaac hits them at such as speed as to have them tumble up and over the car's hood. He looks back and let's out a cheer, and so misses Szilard leaping out in front of the car's bumper. Miria's scream for him to keep his eyes on the road comes too late, and Isaac hits Szilard; panicking, he reverses right back onto Dallas and his two friends, the tires pinning them to the ground.

Over in the courtyard, Ennis wakes to find Keith Gandor, Berga Gandor, Luck Gandor, and Firo Prochainezo dead on the ground after being gunned down by Dallas' crew. She recalls as much, but still wonders why it had to happen. Then, she heads for the alley, intending to catch Dallas and obey Szilard's orders as always. Her deadened expression suggests she has once again accepted the futility of her lot—and then, as she turns the corner, her eyes go wide: Szilard has seized Isaac by his collar, holding a knife to his throat. Nearby, miria screams for Ennis to save Isaac.

Szilard demands to know why the pair know Isaac's name, but changes his mind and says he will have Ennis' explanation later. Ennis says he does not really need to take hostages, but he dismisses this and hands her his knife, with instructions for her to kill Maiza if he struggles.

Ennis immediately holds the knife to Isaac's throat, and Szilard uses his handgun to shoot Maiza in each thigh. He finds it 'droll' that Maiza values Isaac and Miria's lives; though he understands things like love and friendship, he personally cannot stand such sentiments himself.

Meanwhile, Ennis requests that Isaac and Miria flee as soon as Szilard touches Maiza. Relieved that she is really Ennis after all, the pair nonetheless object on the grounds that they have to save Maiza. She asks if they came to the Alveare to save him, but they insist they came to save her, much to her shock. As they explain it, they saw Dallas' group with machine guns and hit them wit the car to prevent them having revenge against her. Stunned, she considers how two people with no power came to her rescue (despite knowing the enemy had machine guns, despite knowing they could die), and finds herself in a quandary.

On the one hand, she is Szilard's homunculus. Her purpose is to be his tool. On the other, Isaac and Miria tried to do something kind for her, and that fact makes her incredibly happy. She thanks them, glad that she was able to speak with them "one last time," and requests that they do not forget her.

Szilard reaches his right hand toward Maiza's forehead, and Maiza grits his teeth—and Ennis literally backstabs her master, driving a knife into his back. She yanks out the knife, dodging him whirling around, and charges forward again. He points at her, and with but a thought, severs their connection. She collapses to the ground, a marionette whose strings have been cut, and Szilard promises her a long, agonizing death.

Ennis, impotent, is left to wonder whether a homunculus like her will go to heaven or hell if such afterlives do exist—her one remaining fear. Then, voice shouts, "Get away from that girl, you damn geezer!" and she looks up to find Firo, bloodless bullet holes in his shirt, standing in front of her alive and well.

References[edit | edit source]

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