17:51 

The 49th Name - Lavi - D.Gray-Man

Sovetskiy Plombir
deculture
The 49th Name Part 1
The 49th Name Part 2
The 49th Name Part 3
The 49th Name Part 4


Rabi!

As Rabi walked through the wide halls of the Order, the Science Division Chief Komui Lee called out to him.

Komui was a tall man who wore glasses. He had an intelligent and gentle air, but his sharp eyes gave the impression that he could be difficult to deal with.

What? Rabi turned around, and upon seeing his face, Komui took on a puzzled expression.

What happened? What are you smiling about?

Nothing, its only that I just heard a new Exorcist joined?

Oh, do you mean Allen? Behind his glasses, Komuis eyes took on an amused light.

Whats he like?

He looks like mild-mannered boy, but hes strong at heart.

Rather like Doug, then. Hes not at the Order right now, is he? Thats too bad.

Thats right, I sent him out on a mission to the Rewinding Town. I think well be seeing him again.

By the way, did you have something to tell me?

YesI was informed that Doug arrived at the underground canal a short while ago.

I see, said Rabi. Already a week had passed since the incident. Rabi and the Bookman had returned to the Order the next morning ahead of Doug, who as a Finder remained behind to settle things. I have to go meet with him later. I want to ask him about Colette, too.

Whatre you talking about, asked Komui.

Oh, nothing, just talking to myself.

Rabi couldnt help grinning. What expression had Doug, so awkward around girls, had when hed handed over her gift? Rabi wanted to hear all the details.

Rabi returned to the room prepared for him inside the Order. He was often outside the Order, and the room, used only for sleeping when he did stay at the Order, was simple, holding only a bed and a table. However, it was spacious, and didnt feel cramped even though Rabi shared it with the Bookman.

I wonder what Doug will do now. Sprawled out on the bed, Rabi thought back to the events of a week before.

He recalled the words of Colette, whom Rabi had accompanied back to the mansion after defeating the Akuma. Doug says hell pay my debt. We may to be able to live together, but he told me hell always protect me. It was the first heartfelt smile of happiness Rabi had seen from Colette.



Rabi lay face up on the bed. He had become completely used to the cold and imposing air of his room, in which he had at first felt somehow out of place.

Rabi realized that he felt at home.

Ive been here awhile, too

It had been two years since hed joined the Black Order. Until now, hed wandered through many places with the Bookman. However, theyd never stayed in one place this long before.

Doug, Komui, Linali, Kanda, Reeverthe faces of the Order members appeared in his mind one after the other.

With an iron will, Rabi suppressed the feeling not unlike homesickness that welled up in his heart. He mustnt get the wrong idea. This was nothing more than a temporary lodging to which he belonged for the moment in order to record the hidden side of history. He mustnt become unnecessarily involved emotionally.

Who are you?

The question hed repeated to himself hundreds, thousands of times.

Im the Bookmans successor. All I do is behold history with the eyes of an impartial observer and copy it down. Interfering with the actors is out of the question.

Rabi slowly closed his eyes. Anyone looking at Rabi at that moment would have been surprised by his expression, like that of a different person than the usual upbeat Rabi. The desolation etching Rabis face was that deep. His usual lightheartedness and cheerfulness were hidden away, and there was a hardness to him that others would not likely approach.

Aaaugh!

A heart-stopping scream reached Rabis ears, and he leapt from bed. It was a death cry, like those Rabi had heard countless times before.

The headquarters of the Black Order was a secure stronghold protected by a gatekeeper. This shouldnt be happening in such a safe place.

Rabi, dashing out of his room, exchanged glances with the Order members who had also run out into the hall. Whered it come from?

I dont know! But it should be around here

Rabi turned a corner of the hallway and caught his breath.

Gah Rabis face contorted at the horrific sight. There was a pool of blood in the hall, and bloody Order members had collapsed over each other.

There was no sign of anyone with intent to kill. It seemed that the attacker had already fled.

For a moment, Rabi hesitated, but hed passed through countless scenes of bloodshed before. Quickly regaining his calm, he carefully touched the body of a fallen Order member.

There was no pulse. There was a large hole in the mans back. This must have proved a fatal wound. He had been pierced with something sharp and thick, like a stake.

A killer inside the Order? Impossible, an Akuma?

An image of the Akuma in Jeromes body, which had been like a crystal ore, appeared in Rabis mind. The wound looked precisely as if the man had been stabbed with one of its crystal projectiles.

ImpossibleI thought I defeated it. Besides, outsiders have to pass through the gatekeepers x-ray inspection to enter the Order. Akuma cant enter.

Then who did this? Rabi looked over the dreadful scene again. It didnt look like the work of a human being

Inform Komui at once! Rabi told a nearby Order member, and looked farther down the hall.

Bloody footprints continued through the hall. Rabi followed the bloody tracks cautiously.

Turning a corner in the hall, Rabi drew a sharp breath. Another Order member was lying covered in blood.

Are you all right? When Rabi ran up to him and lifted him in his arms, the man opened his eyes slightly. His face was ghastly paleit looked as if his wound was lethal. Ill call the Medical Division right now, so hang in there!

The mans lips trembled. Doug

What?

Doug wentthat way Blood spilled from the mans mouth.

Dont talk!

The moment Rabi spoke, the mans head drooped. Rabi expressed his grief by quietly closing his eyes, but soon he stood. His pulse was racing.

The man had said Doug.

Rabi looked down the hall. Surely Dougs room was this way! He imagined Doug dead and covered in blood, and hurriedly thrust the awful thought away.

Doug! Rabi started running.

Hes always so impractical. When we were working together on a mission a year ago, too, he used himself as a decoy in order to save a fellow Finder who was injured and got left behind.

Rabis breathing grew rough. Wheres the old man? All the other Exorcists have been sent out, I have to do it!

The door to Dougs room was open. Rabi dashed inside.

A large open windowa young man was alone on the balcony outside. He was wearing a white uniform. He had black hair and a familiar stature.

Doug?

Doug slowly turned around when Rabi spoke. His white uniform was spattered with blood. He saw Rabi and smiled in relief. Rabi! Thank goodness. I was attacked by a strange man, and I barely managed to escape with my life! I thought I was done for.

Rabi froze, unable to speak. Despair slowly filled his body like cold black water.

He didnt want to believe it. But he couldnt avert his eyes.

Whats wrong, Rabi? Doug approached Rabi, looking puzzled.

Rabi slowly shook his head. You once said to me that you can know a person by the light in their eyes. Ifinally understand.

Doug was watching him with a stupefied look on his face.

You acknowledged me as a single human being, and treated me as one

As he watched Doug, who nodded, an inexpressible sadness welled up inside Rabi.

But now Rabi quietly gripped the shaft of his hammer. Theyre the empty eyes of a machine!

Rabi swung his hammer, sending it tearing through the air. Doug lightly dodged the hammers fierce attack, leaping nimbly out of its path.

There was no way the usually slow Doug could have managed such a feat. It was painful for Rabi to admit this, even though he knew it was true.

Touching down lightly on the broad balcony like a cat, Doug smirked. It was a coarse smile that Rabi had never seen on Doug before.

Doug. You killed them all, didnt you.

There was no gatekeeper at the locks in the underground canal. That was how an Akuma had snuck in without being noticed. Yes, it all fit together.

Too badId planned to kill the people here a few at a time and destroy the Black Order completely. I was found out earlier than Id expected. It was a black bat flying around next to Doug that spoke. On close inspection, the bats head was in the shape of skull. Clearly, it was no normal bat.

What the hell are you!?

Im the Earls messenger, Dobie. Well, you could say I keep watch. Dobies mouth gaped open. There was a row of sharp fangs inside.

Wings flapping, Dobie bared his fangs and attacked Rabi.

Gah! Rabi turned away from Dobie, who had headed for his face, and somehow managed to dodge. Dobie turned easily in midair and came towards Rabi again. His mouth twisted in a sneer. Now then, show him your power!

A creaking noise echoed through the air. A strong tremor ran through Dougs body. Something dark gray, resembling wings of iron, sprouted from Dougs back. They quietly enveloped Dougs body from behind. His arms and legs, too, became covered by something like iron. The substances had become a single suit of armor. On Dougs head was an iron mask.

Doug thrust out his hand, and a round shield and long pike emerged from the armor.

It was as if he bore the trappings of a knight.

Cold eyes glinted from a gap in the mask. Its armaments, its clear sense of selfit was an Akuma that had evolved to Level 2.

Each time an Akuma killed someone, it grew higher in level as a weapon.

How could he become an Akuma and kill so many people in the mere space of a week!? Knowing it was useless, Rabi couldnt help screaming, What happened, Doug!?

He couldnt believe it. Rabi had defeated the Akuma, and they were supposed to have completed the mission without any lose ends. Why, then, had Doug become an Akuma? If Doug was its skin, that meant Doug had called back someone whod died.

Why would someone in the Black Order, who ought to know full well its futility and frightfulness, do such a thing!?

He went to the Statue of the Dawn Goddess, this one did! Dobie said, laughing. That little girl died, and, clutching at straws, he tried to cause a miracle!

Wha

Not letting the opening left by the shocked Rabi pass, the knight thrust his spear.

Gah! Pushing off from the balcony floor, Rabi leapt far out of the way. Are you talking about Colette!? Did Colette die!? Why!?

That foolish son of the man whod turned into an Akuma suspected her of stealing the diamond pendant. The foolish son strangled her to death with an excess of force! said Dobie as it fidgeted its flapping wings.

The diamond that Rabi had smashed along with the Akuma.

There is no Godno need for one. No neednone, came a muffled voice. The knight approached with a heavy clunking sound. A despairing voice that sounded like a curse could be heard from the iron mask.

Dobie regarded the knight with enjoyment. Hehehthe winds of despair are blowing through the world. We will make this rotten world anew.

Destroy, destroy, destroy, destroydestroy from the slot in the iron mask, two brilliantly glowing eyes held Rabi.

Colettethe ill-fortuned girl who had finally opened her heart to Doug. Killed for an unfounded crime, then dragged back into this world, the girls soul must have been torn to pieces.

How painful it must have been when she was killed. When she was called to heaven at long last, she was called back and turned into and Akumahow she must have suffered.

Colettes soul had been broken, then bound by chains. Words would no longer reach her.

Rabi gazed at the hatred-filled eyes of the Akuma with unbearable emotion.

You so-called apostles of God who were so crafty at firstIll slaughter you all! Go!

As if triggered by Dobies voice, the knight began to shout. Die die die die die!!

A knight boiling with hatred and brimming with the urge to kill.

Doug, you never wanted this tragedy.

You idiot. I never even trusted my heart to you. But you trusted me so much.

Idiot. What an idiot, to die so soon.

The events that unfolded after hed returned to the Black Order surfaced in the back of Rabis mind. Doug, hurrying to Colette with a white ribbon in his hand. His heart was surely leaping as he imagined Colettes overjoyed face.

But what hed seen was Colette lying on her side, no longer breathing. What had Doug thought when he lifted her small corpse and set out towards the forest, clinging to a ray of hope?

There is no Godthats what he must have thought.

Doug must have cried out in front of the Statue of the Dawn Goddess. Cried out Colettes name countless times, feeling as if he were coughing up blood. Betting on a one-in-a-thousand chance.

Doug had been a boy who approached everything earnestly, kindly, clumsily. At times he was so compassionate it verged on weakness.

Idiotyoure really an idiot. Rabi silently closed his eye. The statue of the Dawn Goddess was a rumor spread by the Earl to take advantage of the feelings of people whod lost their loved ones, wasnt it.

Yeah, thats right. Its a trap to draw out foolish humans! Dobie said proudly, drifting now to the right, now to the left.

Thats right, Serge had said the fortune-teller had a bat with him. And there had been a lot of bats flying around in the forest. The Earls servant Dobie must have been among them.

Rabi slowly opened his eye. I will defeat him. And Doug and Colette, who have become an Akuma, too.

An aura that burned like flame rose from Rabis body. The sight of him was enough to make ones will falter, enough to make a chill run down the spines of his enemies.

However, speaking triumphantly, Dobie didnt notice. Hes killed so many people in merely the space of a week, and is now superb Level 2 Akuma. Look, his

Shut up.

Dobie noticed Rabis rage-filled eye, like a crimson flame, too late. Rabis hammer flickeredDobies body burst open and went flying. Rabi spun his mallet once and hefted it again.

There was a heavy metallic sound as the knight hefted his pike. The sinister weapon that had taken the lives of countless Order members was pointed straight at Rabi.

This isnt Doug. Its an Akuma, Rabi told himself. And Im an Exorcist. One who defeats Akuma. Big hammer, small hammer, grow-grow-grow! He activated his Innocence, and his hammer grew huge in the space of an instant.

Hammer in hand, Rabi faced the knight. Hah!

Rabi swung his hammer in a wide arc, but the knight blocked the attack with his shield. He swung the shield around.

Sent flying along wit the shield, Rabi somersaulted in midair and somehow managed to land.

How about this! Rabi faced the head of the hammer downward and held onto the hilt. Extend, extend! The hilt lengthened, and Rabi renewed his grip on the hammer.

Take this! Rabi attacked the knight by smashing him from aboveor tried to. However, the hammer embedded itself into the wall.

The knight dodged it by a hair. Level 2 Akuma were more than just show. They were not only heavily equipped, but sharp-witted.

Damn!

The knight raised his pike and charged at Rabi.

In the knight, Rabi saw Doug.

He collided with me head-on, telling me to truly look at him when I spoke to him.

When Rabi came back to himself with a start, the knight was right in front of him.

I cant dodge! Taking a fierce blow, Rabi went flying.

He impacted the wall and hit the floor. Ugh

A sharp pain shot through his back, but Rabi managed to breathe out. He was assaulted by a pain that felt like he was vomiting up all his innards.

Hed somehow managed to guard himself from the head of the pike, but hed taken the attacks fearsome power head-on.

Standing up shakily, Rabi saw the Bookman, who had approached him at some point. The Bookman did not come running up to Rabi, just fixed him with a cold gaze.

Who are you?

I am the Bookmans successor. Belonging nowhere, my heart unmoved

The knight came for Rabi once more.

Come on! Rabi gripped his hammer and ran towards the knight. There was a sharp clang as the pike and hammer crossed. Neither the knight nor Rabi retreated a single step, and the grueling test of strength began.

The usual voice echoed in the back of Rabis head.

What are Akuma?

Akuma are malevolent weapons created by the Earl.

The knights strength gradually increased. Rabi gritted his teeth.

What are Exorcists?

Those who prevent the evil aspirations of the Millennium Earl, who is trying to destroy the world. Those who use Innocence to defeat Akuma.

Rabi could see the two eyes shining blue from the gap in the iron mask. Eyes the same blue as Dougs

I will ask you this once. Who are you?

I am the Bookmans successor! Thats why I dont become attached to others. I dont care about Doug! It doesnt bother me! Forget it! Forget it!

Im an Exorcist too. Defeating the Akuma in front of me is my work! That isnt Doug! This has nothing to do with Doug!!

Uwaaaaaagh!! Breaking the impasse, Rabi swung his hammer, the knight his pike. The instant Rabi felt his hammer hit, a sharp pain ran through his cheek. Rabi had just barely dodged the pikes attack. Any slower and the flesh of his cheek would have been sliced off.

I feel something wet on my cheek. Guess Im bleeding. But its just a scratch. Nothing serious. Rabi strengthened his grip on the hammer.

Rabi hadnt realized. The wetness on his cheek wasnt blood, it was tears.

The Bookman merely watched silently over Rabi.

Rabi stretched his hand holding the hammer up, as if trying to reach the heavens. Ill settle this!

Around the hammer raised high, a shape like a round seal surfaced and began to spin around the hammer. Inside the seals were the signs for Fire, Water, and other elements.

Rabis memories of his times with Doug crossed his mind.

Doug when I first met him. The way he saw through my false smile and gave me a cold glance.

Doug when we fought together. He went running off all by himself, drawing away an Akuma in order to save a companion in danger. I can still remember it clearly. How I ran into a crumbling building to save him. Dougs look of surprise when I found himand how it changed to a look filled with trust.

And Doug when I met him a year later. Doug, who looked straight at me. Doug, who worried about Colette. Doug, who ran up and hugged me.

The memories became a flood, and they began to whirl through Rabis mind. He wanted to scream until his throat burst.

Rabi trembled violently. Doug! He concentrated all of his will on shutting away his memories of Doug.

Rabi planted his feet firmly and cried loudly, Innocence, second releaseseal! He hit one of the seals, Fire, that spun around his hammer. Fire Stamp! The sign for fire appeared on the side of Rabis hammer.

Rabi leapt high and brought the hammer down as hard as he could on the floor. A Fire Seal ten meters in diameter appeared there and began to glow.

Raging FlamesFire Seal. The moment Rabi quietly recited this, an enormous pillar of flame roared upwards from the knights feet.

The raging pillar of flame enveloped the knights body in an instant. The flame became a snake that swallowed up the knight, making it tremble violently, and burnt it to ash.

Doug and Colettes tragedy became dust.

The instant the Akuma vanished, Rabi thought he saw Colettes face for a moment.

Rabi quietly closed his eye. He was shakinga deep weariness oppressed him, and he knelt on the floor. Each time he breathed, an awful pain assaulted him. He could only moan at the wounds deep in his bodyno, in his heart.

Clenching his fists and suppressing the pain, Rabi noticed that a white ribbon lay at his feet. Rabi silently picked it up.

It was a lace ribbon as light as down. It was like a symbol of the ephemeral life of the girl who was supposed to have received it. And the life of the one who would have given it to her.

An eleven-year-old girl and an eighteen-year-old boy had been lost forever. Neither of them would ever smile at him again. He couldnt even meet them

Rabi somehow managed to swallow down the hot, bitter lump that rose like bile from the bottom of his heart.

Rabi. The Bookman silently approached.

What.

Well done.

Rabi silently nodded at his masters words of praise. In the corner of his eye, a track left by tears remained.

***
The next morning, Rabi sat on the bed, blankly waiting for the Bookmans return. Komui had called the Bookman to his office.

Some period of time must have passed. There was a knock, and Komui and the Bookman entered the room.

Thank you for your work yesterday. Thanks to you, we escaped with few casualties.

Yeah Although he nodded at Komuis words, Rabi did not smile.

Komui noticed that Rabi was holding a white ribbon. Whats that?

Oh. Rabi looked like hed noticed the ribbon for the first time. Itsone of Dougs things. He smiled faintly. It was a smile to rend the heart of anyone who saw it. Im going to go place it on the grave of the one who should have it.

I see. Komui quietly dropped his gaze. Doug was an excellent Finder. What happened was unfortunate, truly.

Cant be helped. This is war.

Komui widened his eyes in surprise for a moment at Rabis seemingly detached words. I apologize for asking when youre so worn out, but I want you to go along on the next job.

Where to this time?

The Rewinding Town in Germany.

All right. I dont care where were going. Im the Bookmans successor, after all.

At his side, the Bookman was watching him with piercing eyes.

Dont become emotionally involved with others any more than necessary, dont interfere

We are the observers of history.

That is the law which is the fate of those who will become Bookman.

Thats what his eyes told Rabi.

Rabi averted his eyes from the Bookmans.

***
Combing a hand through his flame-like red hair, the boy closed his eye not covered by an eyepatch.

In an instant, the darkness arrived.

In the pitch-black, lightless world, a grave voice asked:

Who are you?

The one who will succeed the Bookman.

Who is the Bookman?

The Bookman walks through the world, pursuing history.

What must a Bookman be like?

Like a gust of wind. The wind doesnt stay in one place. It feels nothing for the places its passed through. It just keeps wandering

I will ask you this once. Who are you?

I am the Bookmans successor. My current name

Rabi.

THE END

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