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Retrace XCII: A Story

Chapter 92

Information
Release Date March 18, 2014
Chapter 92
Volume 22
Story Arc Swan Song Arc
Chapter Guide
Previous
Retrace XCI: Juror
Next
Retrace XCIII: Abyss (Chapter)


A Story is the 92nd chapter of Jun Mochizuki's Pandora Hearts.

SynopsisEdit

Prior to leaving for Sablier, Break extended an apology to Oz and Gilbert, as he'd always known about Noise and Echo's connection, but never said anything. Sheryl attempted to object to Break "coming clean", but Break simply continued to say that even though he didn't know what exactly Echo and Noise are - had he said something sooner maybe Oscar wouldn't have died. Hearing this enraged Gilbert, who grabbed Break by his shirt and demanded to know why he would stay quiet about Echo and Noise for so long.

Sheryl had Reim bring her over to Gilbert so that she could explain that she ordered Break to keep the information to himself. As well, Sheryl revealed that she knew Vincent was working apart from Pandora, though she wanted to leave the matter untouched so she could sudy his actions. Sheryl elaborated that she knew if she'd told them about Echo it would've been difficult for them to act naturally with her, which would have ruined her attempt to use their relationship. Thus, Sheryl stated that if anyone should be blamed for Oscar's death, it was herself for making Break stay mum about the existence of Zwei.

Gilbert scoffed with outrage upon Sheryl's revelation, though Oz ordered him to stop. Gilbert didn't understand why Oz was defending the Rainsworths, because if they'd said something they may have been able to prevent Oscar's death. Oz reminded everyone of what Break had said after their first encounter with Rufus at the opera house in Reveil: that "there's no way of knowing", with Oz having voiced his like-mindedness on the matter.

Noise is furious to see Oz as he catches her wrist before she could stab Ada with her dagger. Wrenching herself free from Oz's grasp, Noise questions what Oz thinks he doing, as he ruined a perfect opportunity. Suddenly, Noise realizes that Echo is crying within their subconscious about how she doesn't want to be there, begging Noise to leave at once. Intrigued, Noise mentions how she's never seen Echo so upset before, as Echo doesn't want to have to face Oz anymore. Oz asks if Echo is really in Noise's subconscious, which Noise confirms, saying that she's her echo. Noise defines Echo as a disposable personality that is born and disappears, just like an echo, asking if it'd be easier for Oz to understand if she called Echo "Duldum".

Taking what Noise has said into consideration, Oz thinks back to his past experiences with Echo, including how she called herself nothing more than an echo; which was why she had to record everything she saw in her diary. Noise decides that it's disgusting how scared Echo is that Oz is going to hate her, even she knows that Oz could never hate Echo, not even when considering that she killed Oscar. Noise suggests that Oz say it himself, that he's outraged Echo would fool him for so long, that he can't stand the sight of her, something along those lines. Oz outright denies Noise the satisfaction she desires, refusing to say something so cruel to Echo because she's different from Noise.

92 - Ada, Duldee

Noise forces Ada to attack Oz using Duldee

This makes Noise sneer as she has Duldee surround Oz and Ada in her threads as they come bursting out from the ground, ensnaring Oz. Noise states that of course she and Echo are different, claiming that both Oz and Ada are sickening for looking at her as though they know everything about her and like they're sure they're right. Noise finishes by calling Oz an idiot for actually caring about Echo. Oz summons his scythe and slices through Duldee's threads, ordering Ada to stay back.
92 - Noise, Oz

Xai shoots Noise

To Oz's surprise, Ada lunges at Oz and attempts to stab Oz with a large shard of broken glass, revealing that she had been taking over by Duldee and Duldum. Oz manages to move out of the way enough to only receive a stab to his right arm, thus forcing him to drop his scythe, though Duldum asks why Oz is avoiding Ada. Noise then has Duldee force Ada to press the shard of glass into her throat, telling Oz not to move, or else he'll slit Ada's throat rather than cut Duldee's threads.

With no other option, Oz remains still while Noise approaches and slaps him. Noise then begins to wonder what she should do next, settling on ripping Oz apart in front of Echo and then making Ada listen to her as she retells Oz's death. Before Noise gets the chance to do so however, as Xai shoots Noise from behind. While Oz attempts to absorb Xai's presence, Xai shoots at him, missing only slightly. Meanwhile, Noise is crying out in pain on the ground, sending Ada to kill Xai for shooting her. Xai manages to stop Ada from stabbing him with the shard of glass, while Oz grabs his scythe so that he can sever Duldee's threads and free Ada from her control.

92 - Chain, Oz

The Cook's return

Oz never gets the chance to do so though, as The Cook that had attacked Noise and Ada before jumps down off of the roof of a nearby building to attack Oz, Ada and Xai. Fortunately, while Oz evades The Cook's attacks, The Cook manages to sever Duldee's threads, freeing Ada from Noise's control. The backlash from The Cook's attack leaves Ada dazed and on the ground, with The Cook barreling down on her to go in for the kill. Seeing the imminent danger, Oz tries to get to Ada before The Cook, but Noise clashes with him instead using her dagger, crying as she questions why everyone is constantly getting in her way, ordering them all to disappear.
92 - Noise, Oz 2

Noise attacks Oz, preventing him from saving Ada

Oz has no choice but to watch The Cook attack Ada, although Xai steps in front of his daughter and uses Gryphon's power to destroy The Cook once and for all. Having witnessed Xai's compassion, Oz thinks of how he'd always feared Xai for the rejection he provided, as Oz craved his attention and love - which was why he'd always kept his head down. As such, Oz had never noticed Xai's gentle and nostalgic eyes before, and so he couldn't help but wonder why he's noticing something like that now, killing The Cook with the power of B-Rabbit in the meantime.

Oz carries Ada on his back until she regains consciousness, with Ada claiming that she's fine and can walk on her own. Once she's on her own two feet again, Ada questions what happened after Oz came to save her, though Oz only answers that Nose has already fled the scene and that Ada has nothing left to worry about. Ada notices something about Oz and asks if he was crying, to which Oz apologizes for and tells Ada not to worry about it. When Ada tries to object, Oz simply grabs Ada's hand and tells her that Xai loved her properly, which makes Oz extremely happy.

Oz recalls the moment after he killed The Cook. Xai noticed that Oz was crying and asked if he was pitying him, which Oz denied. Instead, Oz explained that it was just sad to think that he never got the chance to get to know Xai, as there were so many things that he wanted to speak with Xai about. Xai viciously remarked how there was no way they could ever understand one-another, and that he'd never forgive Jack for what he did or accept Oz - wanting to carry on cursing them both until his very last breath. The harshness of Xai's words bought Oz to his knees, though Oz managed to stand up for himself soon after. Oz told Xai that he was there and that he'd finally realized that was enough, so he bid farewell to Xai as he carried Ada away through Sablier. After Oz left, Xai slid down the wall he was leaning on, blood dripping onto the ground below, as well as plastering the wall behind him, saying goodbye back to Oz and Ada.

In present-day, Alice and Gilbert run to Oz and Ada and partake in a group hug, rejoicing that they all appear to be okay. However, Gilbert soon directs his focus to Ada and shows concern over how Ada's covered in blood, though Ada just brushes it off as something she'd received from "this and that". Gilbert attempts to object, but Oz complains that Gilbert's chafing his face from hugging him too hard - which Gilbert blames on Alice. Then, Gilbert notices that Oz is in fact crying, and asks what's wrong, though Oz doesn't answer him right away.

92 - Equus, Leon

Equus fights Leon

Elsewhere, Leon and Equus are fighting one-another and Lottie compliments Sharon on her agility. Sharon has Equus return to her side and states that she doesn't have time to deal with Lottie right now, ordering Lottie to move out of the way without taking her gun off of her. Lottie insists that Sharon's the one that's in the way, reminding her that the world is going to be destroyed at the rate that it's going and Oswald is trying to prevent it, yet Pandora keeps trying to stop him. Lottie can't help but wonder if that means that everyone in Pandora, including Sharon, are stupid. Sharon interjects that their opposition to Oswald is obviously because they're trying to live "here and now". Sharon admits that she's fully aware that Oswald is trying to save the world, but by doing so he's sacrificing the lives that they're living. While she does want to save the world, Sharon claims that she doesn't want to lose everything that she's been through so far and thereby lose overall.

Lottie writes Sharon off as nothing more than a greedy little princess, but Sharon claims that she takes after her mother. At this time, Dug carries Lily into the area, who calls out to Lottie upon seeing her. Outraged, Lottie questions where Dug and Lily had been, having apparently disappeared so suddenly. Lily jumps down off of Dug's back and runs over to Lottie in order to object that she and Dug didn't go anywhere, rather Lottie was the one to disappear. With the Baskervilles sidetracked, Sharon wonders what path she should take, knowing well that she can't stand alone against three Baskervilles. Suddenly, Lily stops and turns to Sharon, surprised to see her in Sablier.

In reaction, Lily summons Bandersnatch and sends him after Sharon. Without warning, a voice echoes throughout the area, insisting that Lily wait as a man jumps between Sharon and Bandersnatch in order to protect Sharon. Confused, Sharon questions what Reim's doing, though Reim just turns and smiles at Sharon. Lily is stunned to see Reim, asking if it's truly him. Reim simply grabs his shoulder and says Lily's name, clearly disappointed in her. Lily grinds her teeth and looks to her feet as she orders Bandersnatch to continue his attack, though Reim tells Lily that he has no intention of fighting her. Stepping in, Lottie attempts to ask what Reim's motives are, but Reim interrupts her so he can tell the Baskervilles that he has absolutely no fighting ability whatsoever. The Baskervilles can't help but be confused, and so Reim elaborates that he'd rather negotiate some things with them, asking that they hold off on killing him and Sharon until afterwards.

92 - Jabberwock, Jurors

Jabberwock vs The Jurors

In the meantime, The Jurors have stood from their seats and are distressed over Oswald's attack against Jury, and the fact that he has sent Jabberwock to further the chaos. Break and Vincent attempt to fight back against The Jurors, but find themselves unable as Break's sword and Demios appear to have no effect on them. Oswald then orders Vincent to hold out his hand, after which Oswald takes his grasp and directs Vincent's power into Elliot's black-bladed rapier in order to break through The Juror's chains and open the Baskervilles' Door to the Abyss. The Jurors become hysterical over their failure, and Vincent asks for confirmation that they'll be able to change the past after stepping through the Door to the Abyss. Oswald confirms Vincent's concern as Jury's courtroom crumbles around them and reveals the staircase to the open Door.

92 - Oswald, Break

Oswald vs Break

Bearing witness to the courtrooms destruction, Break decides that he'll have to try and keep Oswald confined to their dimension until Oz arrives and manages to stop Oswald. Aware of Break's intention, Oswald turns to Break while protecting Vincent, explaining that because Break isn't a Baskerville his power as a Child of Ill Omen is much weaker than Vincent's own, but it's the reason he over looked Break's presence. Break then engages Oswald in battle once more, while Oswald continues to explain how Break had been overlooked as a Child of Ill Omen for that very reason; asking if Break actually intends to hasten his death even more so. Just then, Oswald finds an opening and manages to push Break back into the Juror's desk behind him. Somewhat delirious, Break can't help but remember what Sheryl instructed him to do prior to their journey into The Hole.

Sheryl told Break to make sure that he never takes his eyes off of Oz. Reim had been told by Rufus that he'd kept Oz alive only because he saw potential in using Oz's powers as B-Rabbit.

Although Sheryl claimed that the Rainsworths were going to attempt everything necessary in order to maintain their world, and if they need Oz's power in order to do that then they'll support him the best that they can. However, according to Rufus Oz's powers are what nearly destroyed the world 100 years ago. As such, Sheryl ordered Break to kill Oz immediately if he ever showed signs of being unable to control his powers. Break accepted his burden simply, which confused Sheryl at first. Break explained to how he'd actually intended on killing Oz since the very beginning; thinking back to the time when he said Oz had three futures laid out for him: allowing the Incuse to progress fully, search for a way to save himself or death upon finding his "truth".

Break sighs, coughing as several of The Jurors surround him and openly apologizes to Sheryl, as he's been going against her orders all along because he couldn't kill Oz. Break remembers how Oz wanted to have another tea party after they were done dealing with Oswald, unable to understand how Oz can think of such a bright future so naturally. Even so, Break couldn't help but feel happy, because it didn't matter that they all knew that the day they planned where they would all gather together and enjoy themselves would likely never come.

In front of the Door to the Abyss, Oswald turns to Vincent to tell him that he goes no further. Vincent initially doesn't understand, so Oswald elaborates that he's going to be crossing into the past alone to sort everything out. As well, Oswald doesn't want to needlessly provoke The Core of the Abyss, and so  Vincent must stay there. Vincent, fearfully reminds Oswald that he said he'd grant his wish; a promise to which Oswald claims to have no intention of breaking, as it's his responsibility to erase Vincent's existence from the world. Accepting this, Vincent falls to his knees before his master, knowing that there's no helping it as he readies himself for his death.

92 - Leo, Oswald

Leo intervenes

Oswald doesn't get the chance to grant Vincent's wish though, as Break leaps in front of Vincent, pushing him out of the way and extending his sword to block the oncoming strike from Oswald. However, on impact Break's sword shatters and Oswald buries Elliot's black-bladed rapier into Break's left shoulder. Leo intervenes suddenly before Oswald can do too much damage to Break, pouncing on Oswald and wrapping his arms around his waist within Leo's subconscious. Leo speaks to Vincent through his body, asking how Vincent would dare die without his permission. Oswald manages to throw Leo off of him, charging back to the helm, all whilst Break regains his composure and what remains of his sword. Break charges at Oswald, having concentrated Mad Hatter's power to his blade, and slices off Leo's hand in order to stop Oswald.

Oswald looks down at Leo's now crumbling hand, having been unable to fight back against Break because Leo has clung to Oswald's ankle within his subconscious. Oswald orders Leo to let go of him, though Leo refuses. Outside of Leo's subconscious, Break is laughing while he coughs up blood - leading Vincent to question why he would intervene in such a way. Break justifies that he was stopping Oswald, but Vincent outright denies that Break should've intervened because he believes he was meant to die instead.

Hearing this, Break grabs Vincent by his shirt and headbutts him, stepping back to remind Vincent that by allowing himself to die like that he's only saving the past, while his future won't be able to proceed. Break adds that no matter how far into the past Vincent reaches out, his future won't be there, but numerous Jurors come up behind Break and distract Vincent. Oswald cuts all The Jurors down, prompting Levi to question whether it's wise for him to be focusing on The Jurors in such a dire situation. Oswald glares at Levi within Leo's subconscious, but knows that he's right and has Jabberwock continue to take care of The Jurors.

Vincent notices that while Jabberwock keeps The Jurors at bay, Oswald has proceeded up the steps and is entering the Door to the Abyss. Vincent calls out to Oswald in an attempt to make him wait, remembering his vow to protect Leo, chasing after him through the Door into the past. Break attempts to stop Vincent, but begins coughing up more blood before he can make an impact on the situation, asking for a little more time to stop Oswald before his death.

Jabberwock fades back into Oswald's body, and Break collapses to the ground in a coughing fit. Throughout the room, The Jurors speak to one-another of how they can't interfere with this "story" anymore, and how an irregularity may be being created. Together The Jurors decide that the "story" will continue way it is, and that they will have to ascertain the conclusion, before Jury and her fellow Jurors all disappearing at once.

Alone in the courtroom created by The Jurors, Break hears someone mention how he and Sharon hadn't arrived yet; a voice which Break identifies as Oz's. Outside the clock tower, Gilbert mentions how it should be all right if they each enter two at a time. Oz's attention is suddenly grabbed when he realizes that there's something's there, "inside", that's reaching out toward them. Break has realized that he was only allowed to enter The Jurors' court room because of his powers as a Child of Ill Omen. As Break staggers towards the wall of the courtroom, he apologizes to the Intention of the Abyss, because he now no long has enough energy left to grant her wish. However, Break asks that at the very least, the Intention allow him to gather what life he has left so that he can send Oz and the others on the path that they need to follow.

Reaching through, Break uses his powers as a Child of Ill Omen to break through the wall of the courtroom and pull Oz, Alice, Gilbert and Ada into the courtroom. Oz, Alice, and Gilbert frantically ask questions of Break, though Break wastes no time and explains that Oz needs to hurry, because Oswald has used the Door to the Abyss and headed into the past with Vincent. Break orders Oz to follow Oswald and Vincent, asking if he's right to assume that he'd come to do that which only he can do. Confirming this, Oz takes action and tells Alice, Ada and Gilbert to hurry up and follow him so they can stop Oswald. To everyone's surprise, Break says that he's going to stay behind, justifying that he still has to search for Sharon as well as prevent anyone else from going through the Door to the Abyss. As everyone figures out what Break means, Oz clenches his fists and struggles to confirm that he understands, with Break bidding them a final farewell as they leave.

Once alone, the courtroom continues to crumble around Break because of the hole he shattered in it; mentioning to himself that the final curtain that had been drawn for him was far more than anything he might've deserved. Break finally collapses at the foot of the staircase leading to the Door to the Abyss, opening his eyes only after hearing Lily's giggle and Sharon call out his name. Break sees Sharon, Reim, Lottie, Dug and Lily enter the courtroom and run towards him and attempts to stand, only to collapse once again. This time Sharon and Reim manage to catch Break though, leading Break to reveal to them that he doesn't want to die yet. Break thinks to himself about how it seems as though he's done enough if he reviews his life, calling Sharon and Reim awful because he'd thought he'd be able to die alone after such a long and treacherous struggle. Break recalls some of Shelly's last words to him, where she told him that if he had feelings for someone that only he knew about, he wasn't to let them go to waste. Instead, Break was to struggle continuously which would surely lead him to connecting with someone along the way, because he was himself - and would therefore be able to notice when his feelings for someone are there.

Break vocally confirms that he'll follow Shelly's orders, concerning both Sharon (who's been reduced to tears) and Reim. Finally, Break mentally asks that no matter what lies a head for Oz, Alice, Gilbert and Ada, that the end of their stories be filled with a soft and gentle light of hope, just like the sunny days he used to spend with Shelly, Sharon and Reim.

"Words alone are not enough to tell the story of Xerxes Break, which ends here."

Characters In Order of AppearanceEdit

(*) - Denotes that the character did not appear physically, but as a part of another character's memories.

TermsEdit

GalleryEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Alternate title: -Each and Every One-
  • Xai's face is revealed for the first time.
  • Xerxes Break finally reached his impending death.
  • Leo lost his hand.

NavigationEdit

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