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Retrace LXXVIII: Decision

Chap78

Information
Release Date October 18, 2012
Kanji Title 選択
Romaji Title Sentaku
Chapter 78
Volume 19
Story Arc Jack's Intention Arc
Chapter Guide
Previous
Vacant
Next
Falling


Decision is the 78th chapter of Jun Mochizuki's Pandora Hearts.

SynopsisEdit

Jack, has still not yet responded to Vincent as he lay kneeling on the ground in Alice's room. Vincent tells Jack to hold on while he goes to get help. As Vincent runs off, Jack talks to himself about how Sablier would fall into the Abyss now because of the way things had turned out. Jack becomes frustrated when he thinks about how Lacie's "wish" wasn't going to come true now. In one last act of desperation, Jack calls out for Alice, asking where she was.

78 - 8

Jack finds Oswald's body.

Jack descends through Alice's tower, finding Oswald dismembered on the floor when he reaches the main level of the tower. Jack asks Oswald a loud what had happened, noting that he was in pieces, before questioning whether or not it was him who had done this to Oswald. Jack confirms this as he remembers how Oswald had tried to destroy Alice, and so Jack had no other choice but to use Oz's power to kill Oswald, his best friend, with his own hands. Vincent then finds Gilbert unconscious on the ground as well, having been attacked by Jack earlier, crying out for his elder brother in dismay.

A black explosion occurs, and the city of Sablier sinks into the Abyss, with all of its residents still inside. That is, everyone but Jack falls into the Abyss, as Jack sits alone, clinging to Oswald's head in his arms.

Rufus reads Arthur Barma's now decoded memoirs to someone, explaining that after Jack had been protected as the survivor of the Tragedy of Sablier, Jack took action and spread the rumor that it was the Baskervilles who instigated the Tragedy of Sablier, rather than himself. Jack managed to steal the four of the five Keys to the Abyss in order to obtain the four of the five Doors to the Abyss and solidify four positions of power above most noble families (the Four Great Dukedoms). Jack then created the organization, Pandora, meant to investigate matters related to the Abyss. Rufus went on to explain that the Four Great Dukedoms obtained their positions because of their hand in the Tragedy of Sablier and their relations with Jack himself.

The individual speaking with Rufus asked why Jack would have picked the other three families of the Four Great Dukedoms to rule alongside the Vessaliuses, especially the Nightrays because of their previous closeness to the Baskervilles. Rufus explains that the Nightrays' close relationship with the Baskervilles was the reason Jack had chosen them, so that he had a way to understand the actions of his enemy and because Jack was aware that his current position within society existed only because it was built by the Baskervilles' foundation. The Nightrays, also hadn't wanted to use their power to further push the stigma of Raymond Nightray, who had been accused of treachery during the Tragedy of Sablier, and so the Nightrays received their Door to the Abyss which was protected by a Chain which had the qualifications for its Contractor already snatched away. At the same time, however, it was not possible to have known that Gilbert would have done something like that to the Nightrays.

78 - 2

The unnamed ancestor of Sheryl, Shelly and Sharon Rainsworth.

Rufus then explains how the Rainsworths were the only family out of the Four Great Dukedoms which had no connection to the Tragedy of Sablier whatsoever. Rufus hypothesizes that the Rainsworths were invited to join the Four Great Dukedoms in order to quench the fear of a monopoly over Abyssal power that had spread throughout the country. Rufus adds how thinking back to the connection that Arthur and Miranda Barma had to the Tragedy of Sablier and Jack Vessalius, it was ultimately inevitable that the Barmas would be chosen as the final family of the Four Great Dukedoms, as Jack considered Arthur to be his 'hands and feet'.

Rufus continues to explain how Arthur had adored Jack more and more after he returned to him as a hero. Arthur immediately began forming his memoirs, detailing the alleged truth of the Tragedy of Sablier word for word based on Jack's dictation. Arthur then was joined by four other mages in order to permanently bind Oswald's soul within the Sealing Stones. It did not take long for Arthur to realize that there was a sort of distortion around Jack during this time.


Jack, hooded, approached Arthur one day and asked Arthur to erase him from the world, soon correcting himself to say that he'd rather Arthur left him for dead. This greatly troubled and confused Arthur, and Jack explained to him that he could no longer keep up the appearance of Jack Vessalius any longer, which he found a bit troubling. Jack explained to Arthur that his body was steadily rewinding itself and at the rate he was going, he would disappear. Jack asked Arthur to lend him an ear, and while Arthur wouldn't likely think much of the tale, Jack had heard it somewhere a long time ago, The Tale of the Empty Man.

Arthur didn't understand what Jack's tale was striving for, but gradually Arthur understood as Jack revealed his past with Lacie and the Baskerville Clan to Arthur. Arthur reeled back in shock and shouted at Jack in surprise following what he'd heard. Arthur immediately began fumbling over his words, saying that such a thing couldn't be possible. Jack teasingly asked what Arthur wa saying, stating that The Tale of the Empty Man was a ridiculous fairy tale.

Rufus read from Arthur's memoirs, Arthur stating that was the first time he'd felt Jack's wrath and that the moment of distrust had been born, expanding at the blink of an eye. Arthur thought of how if he exposed the truth of the Tragedy of Sablier, then Miranda would be charged partially with the blame because she had helped Jack reach his goal. Arthur could only think of what would become of the Barma family if such a thing did come to pass, as they were one of the Four Great Dukedoms now, who had their homelands taken from them and were now finally living peacefully in this country. Arthur wouldn't allow the Barma family to lose everything again. Arthur finished his memoirs by saying that Jack was like a living ghost.

78 - 3

Rufus speaks with Oswald (Through Leo)

Rufus slammed Arthur's memoirs shut following this statement, explaining that it seemed as though after completing the memoirs, Arthur had fallen ill, catching a high fever of sorts and dying shortly afterwards. Rufus then asks if Oswald was satisfied with his story, speaking to him through Leo's body. Oswald stated that the majority of what Rufus had said was at least intelligible, which prompts Rufus to explain to him how Jack's rewound body was a trick.

Oswald explained that when Jack's soul, B-Rabbit and the Core of the Abyss' power collided, Jack's soul was shattered into pieces. The Abyss, being the end and beginning of everything, would usually take souls that lost their body, in order to allow them to descend to Earth again and be lead to the golden light. However, the Abyss viewed Jack's broken soul as something different, and because of this, Jack's soul was rejected from the Hundred Year Cycle.

Jack body cycle

The cycle of Jack's body.

Back in the prison facility of Pandora, Oz explains to Echo how he remembered everything, and how he finally knew what he really was. Oz tells Echo that coming into contact with Jack's memories made him aware of what Jack had done up until now, as well as his body's broken clock of sorts. The hands of this proverbial clock started ticking backwards until it reach the age of an infant, and just as the body reaches Jack's final age, it starts ticking backwards once again.

Oswald and Oz continue to explain to Echo and Rufus how Jack's body came to be in this time. Leo states that repeating the act countless times, Jack had continued to live for the past 100 years, but that was not the same for his soul. Jack's soul was destroyed and taken by Alice's memories, which had been destroyed in a similar manner to Jack's own soul. Every time that Jack rewound his body, the slight fragments of his soul that remained within his body would burn out, turn to ash and disappear. After much time passed, all that was left within Jack was the sleeping soul of B-Rabbit, who had lost his power to Alice and forgotten everything. Simultaneously, Oz finishes his own explanation to Echo. Oz continues by stating that from the very start, he had never had the human existence he had come to know as Oz Vessalius. The body which he had used was someone else's, and he had stolen it from Jack.

78 - 6

Jack meets Xai Vessalius.

Oz flashes back to when Jack met Xai Vessalius. Jack states that it was nice to meet Xai, explaining that he was a Chain, just a doll. Echo interrupts, hugging Oz through the bars of his cell and asking why Oz is saying such horrible things about himself, trying to justify that what Oz was saying was false. Oz continues his flashback, remembering how Jack had told Xai not to be shocked and that he would have liked it if Xai would take the time to listen to him. Jack explained to Xai that within his body slept the soul of the Chain known as B-Rabbit, who had been in the middle of global destruction 100 years ago. Jack's consciousness had been rewound so many times that it was going to vanish completely, which was why Jack wanted Xai to welcome his body as 'Oz', into the Vessalius family instead of the child who would soon be born as Xai and Rachel Cecile's first born child, whom would do so in the embrace of death.

78 - 7

The Baskervilles destroy the final Sealing Stone, belonging to Count Airy.

Oz goes to console Echo when a loud explosion echoes throughout the country. Rufus remarks on how the final Sealing Stone, in possession of Count Airy, was finally destroyed safely, despite being greatly behind schedule. Leo's heart begins to beat furiously, as Oswald's soul is released from its captivity after long last. Within Leo's subconscious, Oswald emerges and shrouds Leo's consciousness with his cloak. Levi stands by from a far smiling at Oswald, however Oswald only angrily glares at Levi, after having remembered everything. Rufus asks Oswald if he was able to successfully regain his full consciousness and memories, which Oswald confirms, stating that he now knows what he must do, erase this world from the decaying distortion of the Chains. At the Nightray mansion, Gilbert remains reserved within himself, still shocked from what he had done to Oz. In Pandora's dungeons, Lottie arrives with two other Baskervilles, telling Oz that he was coming with them, and Oz hypothesizes that he is finally going to be killed.

Xerxes Break felt the effect of the final Sealing Stones destruction and asks himself what was going on. Lily, who was tasked with guarding Break, asks him if he thought that the shutter caused by the destruction of the final Sealing Stone was a good feeling to him. Lily tells Break to listen up, because starting now was Oz Vessalius' execution, and following Oz's death, Lily was going to ask Oswald to kill Break next. Vincent remembers that he had heard a Baskerville say that Oz was being kept alive in order to determine the usefulness of his existence to Oswald, and finally it was decided that Oz was too dangerous to be kept alive, which was something that Vincent was currently mulling over.

78 - 10

Gilbert summons Raven before him to use Raven's blue fire against himself

Vincent returns to Gilbert's room to find that Gilbert was no where to be found. Outside, Vincent calls out for his brother, asking what he was doing and telling him to hurry up and get back to his room. Gilbert starts laughing hysterically upon hearing Vincent's voice, asking if he was right to say that this was all a dream. His newly regained memories, that he had shot Oz with his hand, it was all a dream. Gilbert collapses to the ground suddenly and cries, and Vincent can only stand by and watch, thinking of how he wished that Gilbert had never remembered anything, because he was so kind and fragile, and Vincent had thought that remembering would end up breaking Gilbert. Vincent calls out for his brother again, but Gilbert ignores him and instead summons Raven. Gilbert asks Raven if he remembered correctly, that Raven had said that he would be bound to Gilbert's left hand. Gilbert remarks on how everything was just as Raven said. Gilbert thinks of how Raven had been passed down for generations through the left hand. There is an added covenant of being unable to go against an order given by Glen until the Succession of the title 'Glen Baskerville' is fully completed. Gilbert calls himself stupidly helpless, and Raven tells Gilbert that he understands, that Gilbert was in pursuit of conviction now, and so Raven spews forth its blue flames over Gilbert's body. Vincent begs his brother to stop it, but it is too late.

78 - 9

Leo, wielding Elliot's black-bladed rapier.

As Leo stands before Oz with Elliot's sword, Oz asks if he was right to say that who was standing before him wasn't Leo. Oswald explains that he has no intention of letting Leo surface again because Leo can no longer fight. Oswald explains how the Tragedy of Sablier seemed to have been something which was caused by his own leniency, and so he was going to correct that with his own two hands. Oswald explains that he had tried to hold back the power of the Chains to try and kill Jack Vessalius, as he had no other choice outside of a temporary solution. The Intention of the Abyss was also something which creates distortions at a constant rate, and so long as she exists, distortions will continue to be born. For this reason, Oswald explains to Oz that he was negating the fact that the Intention of the Abyss was born in the first place, by traveling back in time and killing Lacie with his own hands. By doing this, Oswald so no way of there ever being contact between Jack and the Baskervilles, Alice and the Intention of the Abyss or even Oz himself, as a future where Oz will never come to be born was about to come into being. Oswald finishes by saying that because of this, he had to make those who'd become a hindrance (Jack and Oz) disappear.

In Break's prison cell, he states that he's disappointed, which confused Lily. Break elaborates by saying that Oz will not die and will therefore not be able to see Break's impending execution. Something in the distance surprises Oswald, and he moves out of the way quickly, as Break tells Lily that even though 'he' had remembered everything, he'd still stand before Oz to protect him, which was why Break had already stopped worrying.

56

Gilbert defends Oz from Glen.

Gilbert has jumped in front of Oz, while Baskervilles defend Leo. Oz questions Gilbert's presence, as does Oswald. Gilbert apologizes to his master, but explains that he couldn't return to Oswald's side, and so Gilbert reveals that he no longer has his left arm (as he had Raven destroy it). Oz questions what happened to Gilbert's arm, and Gilbert states that he doesn't need it anymore, because it was the arm that hurt Oz. Oswald is shocked as he realizes that Gilbert destroyed the covenant engraved on his left arm using Raven's blue flames. Oz asks Gilbert if he's stupid, before calling him an idiot, and Gilbert turns to Oz, telling him that he was an idiot, but that he chose a long time ago because he knew the things that he wanted to protect. However, because of his lost memories, he was afraid of knowing might could be lurking in the empty spaces within his mind, and so he held no confidence, and so if that was all, Gilbert doesn't need to worry anymore. Gilbert addresses Oz by his name, explaining how he had probably never once known the true meaning of calling out his name. Gilbert tells Oz that he's a Baskerville, but regardless of that, right now he was still your only servant and that would never change.

Characters in order of appearanceEdit

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

TermsEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Alternate Title: -Choice-
  • The final Sealing Stone was broken in this chapter.
  • This chapter revealed a Rainsworth ancestor from a century ago.
  • This chapter revealed that Arthur fell ill and died shortly after finishing his memoirs.
  • It was revealed that the Nightray's key to the Door of the Abyss is in the blade rapier that belonged to Elliot.

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