Previous Chapter - Epilogue 2
The Copycat confesses that he is a 'simple imitator' and that he 'messed up' at the critical moment of his plan owing to his excessive excitement. He sighs that there should never have been hope on those ships, and says that since he is sick of being Copycat he will walk as 'himself' from now on.
Several days later, Aging is teasing Luchino B. Campanella when their hostage Elmer C. Albatross asks why Luchino hates Huey Laforet so much. Luchino reluctantly answers that it is hate born out of vengeance for himself and his ancestor.
At Elmer's prodding, Luchino admits that his ancestor Huey killed his lover Monica Campanella, Luchino's other ancestor. Over the next three centuries, Monica's bloodline passed down the Mask Maker legacy and a resolve to avenge her from descendant to descendant, until it reached Luchino. He asks Elmer if the desire to avenge an ancestor they never knew seems like foolishness. Elmer replies that he won't stop Luchino if his path makes him happy, but with a troubled air mutters to himself "so that's how the story was told" to Luchino, and that this is just like 'him.'
The same day, Victor Talbot holds Nile, Sylvie Lumiere, and Denkurō Tōgō for questioning at an American FBI facility. Victor reminds a testy Nile that all of this is due to him going on a rampage; Nile admits to feeling remorse, and that he regrets not being able to battle Aging before things settled down. Irritated by Nile's apparent lack of remorse, Victor rants about all the overwork the immortals have given him, and vows to take out his rage on Huey until the culprits responsible for the whole incident are caught.
When Denkurō asks who the culprits are, Victor admits that the FBI still isn't entirely sure - he says that the SAMPLE members all disappeared, even the ones that were either captured or killed. At Sylvie's question, he informs them that Czeslaw Meyer was on the other ship on a family vacation with a couple of other immortals and is now currently in Japan with them.
The same day, at a tourist attraction in Kyoto, Japan, Firo Prochainezo apologizes to Ennis and Czes for ruining their vacation, blaming his old fear of Szilard Quates memories as the reason for his inaction. He had hoped that he could protect Ennis and Czes without using Szilard's memories, but now realizes that if he had only checked them sooner he could have solved things much more quickly. He promises that he will always be himself: he will not become like Szilard or Lebreau despite having their memories.
Czes asks him what he means, and Firo explains that he has the memories of one Lebreau, who was devoured by an alchemist who was later devoured by Szilard.
Back in the FBI facility, Victor asks Denkurō about what happened to him - from what Victor has heard, Denkurō 'turned into a popsicle' after falling into the Arctic Sea. Denkurō reluctantly decides to tell the truth rather than risk humiliation, and reveals that someone trapped him in a box while he was sleeping, and then tossed him into a crevasse - where he was encased in ice for the next two hundred and fifty years or so. Victor asks who could have done such a thing, and Denkurō identifies Lebreau Fermet Viralesque as the culprit.
On the seas, Elmer explains to Luchino that the one who really killed Monica was not Huey, but a genius alchemist called Lebreau.
In Kyoto, Czes laughs at Firo's 'funny joke' and runs away, finally coming to a stop at the top of the steps leading down from a shrine. He sits on the top step, and with a childlike smile and cold sweat covering his body continues weakly laughing at Firo's 'joke.' As Czes recalls his overwhelming fear of the unknown, a man calls to him from the bottom of the steps and asks if he is all right.
A flute ceases playing, and the wind dies down. The man smiles softly at Czes and says that it has been a long time since they last saw each other, and Czes stutters out Fermet's name.
Back on the seas, Elmer says that Fermet despised him, and that they never really talked much. Fermet always tried to conceal his 'true self', he says, and remarks off-handedly that the last time they saw each other was in either 1931 or 1932. He recalls Czes' confession on the rooftop in 2001 and wonders when Czes devoured Fermet.In Kyoto, Fermet continues speaking gently to Czes as he climbs up the steps towards the boy - meanwhile, Czes' world crumbles around him. When Fermet asks Czes if he is ignoring him, Czes tries to scramble backward but realizes he cannot move. Fermet stops on the step below him and easily guesses as to what Czes is thinking: "How is this guy still alive? I know I devoured him!" Grinning, Fermet observes that Czes has not changed one bit and says that it is "very important" for an immortal to have a passion for life - if they do not, they will end up a walking corpse like Begg Garott.The narrative identifies Fermet as 'Life' of the Mask Makers, the 'Demolisher' responsible for bringing Carnea Kaufman aboard the ship, and a SAMPLE executive. Fermet muses that he was so happy to see Czes aboard the Entrance that he nearly took off his mask and goggles right then and there. Luckily for him, Czes never asked him his name at the time. Fermet remarks that over the course of his immortal life he has made wonderful toys like Illness, Carnea, and Luchino...and that Czes is the most special toy of all. He assures Czes that it is all right if he smiles.
As Czes panics, Fermet declares that he is the Fermet who boarded the Advena Avis with Czes - not a clone, not a fake. He then points out the obvious conundrum - if this is the case, then who on earth did Czes devour? Czes reflexively reaches out his right hand and places it on Fermet's head, but Fermet affably comments that the way Czes is now, he cannot devour Fermet no matter what. All of Czes' instincts urge him not to devour the poison that is Fermet.
Fermet cheerfully affirms that he is right, and laughs in a voice utterly unlike him, calming himself only after noticing the concerned glances of tourists. He says to Czes "let's play again sometime," patting the boy on his head with his right hand, noting that there is no telling when he'll next come to visit Czes.
After Fermet leaves, Firo finds Czes and asks if he is all right - only for Czes to start wailing. Somewhere nearby, Fermet listens to Czes' sobs ring out in the distance and calls them a 'wonderful sound', ruefully noting in his 'true voice' that he 'said too much' to Czes earlier out of excitement.
Fermet takes out his cellphone when it rings and answers a call from Huey. He asks if Huey is angry that Fermet used his name without asking, and Huey denies this, replying that the actions of a 'guinea pig' are merely a part of his experiment. When Huey inquires about the elixir Fermet gave to his allies, Fermet assures him that he only gave three of them (the gorilla-faced man and Bride's two secretaries from SAMPLE) the incomplete formula - and he corrects Huey that the three are tools, not allies.
As he talks, Fermet looks over at the station wagon he's heading toward. Inside are the three SAMPLE members in question.
Huey asks Fermet what he planned to accomplish by sinking the Entrance and Exit, and with a look of sheer elation Fermet responds that while Czes looked so happy, all Fermet wanted was to see him in tears again.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
The Copycat (Lebreau Fermet Viralesque)