Extra arc 『The Stage Ghost’s Cappricio』 Chapter 7
I’ll start from the conclusion.
A magic that can make a puppet into a human does not exist.
For 『things』 imitating the shape of living things, there was a philosophy that these had a certain 『power』 that draws a line over being simple inorganic matters. That way of thinking exists in Japan and even in this world.
If I pull out Japan’s history as an example, there were things like hina dolls that were used to ward off evil and shikigamis that were used for onmyoudo.
In terms of dolls, which were 『things』 imitating human shape, there were rich variations ranging from folklores to ghost stories. I’ve heard ones where they end up walking or dancing, becoming replacements for humans, having human spirits dwell in them, or even growing out hair.
Even in this world, there were ghost stories that are associated with dolls, but in addition to that, there were also stories about magic that influences dolls.
For instance. Magic that manipulates dolls at will by inserting one’s will inside them.
At this moment, even if they were equally inorganic matters, the level of difficulty between inserting one’s will into a doll and inserting one’s will into a pebble were completely different.
A doll was a 『thing』 that imitated a human shape and it didn’t have a will of its own. Since it meets the requirement, it’s significantly easier to enter that 『humanoid shell』 compared to that of entering other inorganic matters.
In other words, this was magic that uses the 『power』 that tools called dolls have.
There were other magic that uses dolls. But what’s common among these were that people developed magic that turned dolls into tools.
I tried thinking over Nival Galant’s magic in particular.
One could say that he was also a user of a magic that wouldn’t invoke without the 『power』 held by 『dolls』.
People who don’t have a deep understanding about magic often misunderstand, but it wasn’t that Nival Galant could use 『magic that moves inorganic matter』 . Nival Galant’s magic was restricted to only dolls, you could say it was an incredibly limiting magic given that it could move dolls because they were close to human form.
In this regard, the dolls produced are not confined to, say, the material or its size. It doesn’t matter whether they are big or small.
The only restriction was that the form could not deviate from a typical human too much. It was no good, for example, if the doll was not made with all the human joints, and it was impossible to move a doll with wings on its back.
The appearances of the dolls themselves change in accordance to Nival’s magic.
But the dolls’ nature as tools remain the same.
Taking the alterations that Nival personally desires, the dolls could change their figures. Due to his perfectionism, the alterations follow Nival’s desires for 『figures close to humans』.
And his intention was for it to remain a shell. Without a voice of its own. It only moves with the responses drilled into it. An existence that only answers the desires of the wizard.
Even Nival himself acknowledges that fact.
Nival’s automatons needed a long time in order to make up one body that accurately and precisely imitated humans.
Though Nival made it clear that he was proud of his work at every opportunity, he also plainly expressed his honest opinion to the reporter that described his work as 『making a human』.
What he makes was a 『doll』, there’s no way they could be 『humans』. That was what he stated.
（I wonder if this person thought of 『Miria』 like this too）
The report was released prior to 『Miria』 being born.
But it was said that Nival Galant spent many long months and years of his life making 『Miria』. In other words, besides making other dolls, he poured all of his skills into carefully crafting 『Miria』 and brought her close to human.
To the automaton that couldn’t move without the responses drilled into it, he tried to teach every possible response and movement. Though there was no way of knowing what motivation drove him to do it, it was likely a task that required an extraordinary level of imagination and patience.
The catchphrase that 『Miria』 was 『The dollmaker Nival Galant’s greatest masterpiece』 wasn’t just for show.
Which meant, at the time of this article, even if Nival hadn’t publicized it to the world, he should’ve been working on 『Miria』’s creation.
Thus, 『Miria』, who finally came out to the world after his death, had been an automaton with an incredible thought process and was flexible enough to be able to come in contact with humans and lead a life quite similar to them.
(Having spent time with her, I feel very strongly against what Nival Galant said. I don’t know how he could say something like 『there’s no way they could be humans』. –Or maybe…)
Maybe there was a difference between the 『Miria』 that he imagined and the 『Miria』 I met. If so, could something have happened that even he, as the creator, did not foresee which led to 『Miria』?
For one thing, there was a possibility that 『Miria』 turned into something that surpassed his imagination of a being that was close to human.
And for another, there was a possibility that the 『Miria』 I know and the 『Miria』 he knows, are separate beings.
I was transfixed on the second possibility.
Having studied about Nival Galant’s magic, I was also led to investigate his closely connected personal life.
He, himself, stated that 『It was simply because of the very short time at the onset of my marriage that I could say my private life had been the most satisfying in my life』. Nival Galant’s wife had passed away soon after having just one baby girl with him.
And even when the daughter, who he raised himself, became of age and got married, the one child she had was stillborn. She had a divorce soon after that.
Thereafter, without a specific partner and out of wedlock, she finally had a daughter but it seems she had been quite hard on this child. And then, the woman, having neglected her own health, died of sickness when the child was six years of age.
Thus, only Nival Galant and the six-year-old child that was his granddaughter, remained.
Nival wasn’t a particularly friendly man. Even those around him described him as 『moody』 or 『an artist for better or worse』, and I heard that he didn’t even ever let others near the place where he produced the dolls. I wonder how the life of a six-year-old girl went with that circumstance.
The girl’s name was Mari Galant.
If I followed the description of the young girl from the articles written about Nival’s personal life:
『Pale brown hair inherited from her mother』
『Large light brown eyes』
『Based on those near her, they say her mother didn’t really shower her with love. She was jittery towards even the female reporter from start to end. She shows limited expressions』
–if a girl like that had grown up.
Wouldn’t she be someone like the Miria Galant I knew?
『The puppet opera’s best prima donna, Miria Galant. Her acting is the very. picture. of. a. human！』
It’s probably too absurd to suppose that Miria was actually human, and Nival’s granddaughter, at that.
But that supposition had completely made its place in my heart.
Although she had limited expressions, I hardly felt that she was 『doll-like』 . Up to this point, I was thinking that 『maybe it’s because she was a magical doll』, but if I’d been told 『it’s because she’s human』, I would naturally believe that more.
It’s plausible to consider that her upbringing was the reason for her tendency to be a little self-deprecating.
However, if I suppose that, then I’ll be met with another big question.
When Miria appeared in the puppet opera’s stage, people accepted Miria as a 『puppet of humans』. That was because it was an actress that suddenly appeared in a theatre where 『living humans could not perform in』.
And I couldn’t think of why someone would do something like pretend to be a doll and appear on stage.
If she were shouldering the risk of deceiving the world by pretending to be a doll, what could possibly be the reason for that?
And, there was another mystery that was difficult to understand.
–Miria had asked me.
She asked whether I 『knew a magic to turn a doll into human』.
I really couldn’t believe that the question was made simply as a joke.
There was still the chance that all my deductions were just me thinking too much. The truth was, I had no choice but to ask her.
I decided to try talking with Miria tomorrow or something. I was short on time since I’d spent most of it investigating. School was about to commence in two days.
I definitely couldn’t discuss it in a letter.
My opportunity to talk to her would be tomorrow, just one day.