From Melvien's Journal - Soul Puppet

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Well, well, our dirt-caked Middle Lander has pried himself away from the teat of the coalitions and deigned to grace us with his presence.

Don't bother with formal appellations—with what has transpired lately, I shall permit you to refer to me as simply "Ingrid."

I have been called away from the order today by Melvien, who expressed a fervent desire to lay eyes on our most notorious device—the soul siphon.

Your trepidation, misplaced though it may be, is duly noted. Yet who better to harness its powers than me? And if Melvien expresses interest, who am I to deny him?

Now, off with you. The elites of this city have no time to coddle its pioneers like a mother chocobo weaning its newborn chicks.


"Master Melvien, pray what are you doing?"
"I’m trying to move these paper dolls," I answered in response. My butler, despite having served the Order of Woltaris for many years, was apt to bleat out the most inane of questions.

On top of my office's mahogany table were a number of paper pieces you could consider dolls, for lack of a better word. I had rolled paper into a cone shape similar to that of a mage’s hat, drawing eyes on it to represent a figure of sorts.

"Dolls, sir?"
"Yes. For example, this one here." As I spoke, I placed my hand over one piece that stood upright.

The paper doll began to move across the table.


"I-impossible! I was not aware you had such mastery over the arcane arts!"
Once I was satisfied with the shocked look on his face, I came clean.
"Magic though it may be, it is not of the arcane variety."

As I lifted up the piece, a tiny insect shook its wings hesitantly and took to the air.
"A-an insect!"
"I merely placed this paper over an insect, which I put to sleep with an herbal concoction and roused with yet another."
I showed him the small hidden bottle in the palm of my hand.
"The doll is nothing more than a puppet, serving as a vessel for the insect beneath. Did you really think a paper doll could move?"
I chortled for the first time in quite some time after seeing the blank look on his face.

This conversation, which happened to take place this very morning, reminded me how easily people are beguiled by appearances.

Take, for example, the "Summoned by Spirits" incident.
A cut-and-dry case of a prodigal child running away from home was turned on its head by the timely intervention of that adventurer from the Middle Lands. No one had seen or suspected spirits.

Ah, yes, the realm of spirits brings me to my main topic. Today, at long last, I was able to get my hands on what I have been wanting – a soul siphon, though it has been broken beyond repair. To think, though, that souls can coalesce in such a tiny, innocuous device, separated from the flesh—a preposterous theorem brought forth by the actions of this pioneer.
If what I gather from the woodsmen and women of Ulbuka is correct, the device makes use of a newly-developed technique that enables the transfer of one's soul into even the bodies of monsters.

The flesh is just a vessel that houses the soul, one that permits it to interact with the physical realm. Is it any wonder, then, that humanity always searches for a deeper meaning to life?
Viewed from that angle, is such a doll not the same? That a force greater than itself is behind its movements? We view conflicts between brute beasts as naught but mother nature setting things in motion—but what if there was yet a deeper meaning behind it?

Princess Arciela is worried about her older brother gradually losing his humanity, his transformation into a leafkin becoming more complete by the day. Is this because he is now something else? That his soul has lost its way?

Some would argue so. However, from my point of view, Ygnas’s soul remains intact. Though he may be covered in foliage, I cannot help shake the fact that he is in full control of his actions. Yet to what end…?

Ygnas, just what is your soul trying to say?

How unfortunate the lie that she told, brokenhearted and betrayed. Cecile's ivory visage so marred that her eyes, once brimming with life, wasted away like anemones in the winter. Unceasing were the scorching glares and rebukes that she suffered, unfathomable her wounds. What somber sunsets and sunrises she spent, setting not a foot outdoors. "Remember when I was beautiful? When I called his name, he came to me, and I felt his sweet love make me glad."

…My…journal? What is…?

I must have lost consciousness due to another severe headache. They seem to be getting worse by the d—who is this man that I see staring back at me in the mirror? Why is he so hollow and emaciated?

Perhaps my zealous dedication to the city has caught up with me. With how worried my butler has been, perhaps I should turn in for the night…

Melvien de Malecroix

Melvien de Malecroix
Male Elvaan

The leader of the Order of Woltaris, one of Adoulin’s Twelve Orders. Perhaps because of his role as Adoulin’s Minister of Finance, he is a staunch proponent of the colonization initiative and insists that Adoulin’s success rests on the development of Ulbuka. The rapid progression of colonization due to the efforts of pioneers has doubled his workload, and fatigue and lack of sleep have taken a toll on his once dapper countenance. Recently he has been seen frequenting the library to do research.

Story : Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration : Mitsuhiro Arita

Category: News

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