|“||Ah, then there is no need to worry. For I am not making use of them as humans.||”|
Bondrewd "The Novel", also known as "The Lord of Dawn", "The Sovereign of Dawn", is a legendary White Whistle Delver who has made many great discoveries about the secrets of the Abyss. A researcher fascinated by the Abyss, he has often resorted to illegal and morally questionable means in order to get funds for and conduct his research, including selling Artifacts illicitly, developing dangerous drugs, and even experimenting on living humans.
His methods went against all the ethical principles of Delvers, but he was allowed to continue due to his outstanding results. Ten years ago, he did the unthinkable by establishing a large base named the Ido Front in the deepest area within the 5th layer of the Abyss, as well as securing a route to the then-inviolable 6th layer.
Bondrewd is a tall man sporting mostly black clothing, with a long coat and a suit. He always covers his face with a black helmet which includes a gap in the middle where violet light shines through. His main body also has what appears to be a lizard tail, which is presumed to originate from an artifact. His White Whistle is sculpted into the shape of two hands clasped together in prayer.
Bondrewd is a man who values knowledge above else, even in the wake of whatever moral issues that may occur from his actions. He is willing to sacrifice anyone and everyone in the pursuit of it, not out of malice but because he feels that they need to be prepared for whatever will come as the next 2,000-year period approaches. He remembers the names of each of the individuals he's sacrificed to that point, seeing it as a necessity.
He doesn't show hostility to those he faces. Rather, he praises them if they manage to get the advantage over him. Despite his methods, he is a quite capable father.
Dreadful Experimentation Flashback Arc
At some point in the past, Bondrewd was responsible for some unclear criminal offense in a foreign country and a bounty was placed for his head. Regardless of this, he became a Delver and did anything he could to obtain funds for his research into the Abyss, selling drugs made through human experiments on the black market, selling artifacts and relics illegally, and many other questionable acts. Some bounty hunters would show up to claim his head, but they would all disappear, and eventually, no one would approach him out of fear.
Fifteen years ago, he managed to steal the Special Grade Artifact, Zoaholic, and used it to spread his consciousness on multiple bodies, creating the Umbra Hands (fan translation: Praying Hands). Five years later, the achievement that earned him the rank of a White Whistle Delver was made: Probably after years of work, he established a large operating base in the 5th layer and secured a passage to the 6th layer using an ancient altar of the past. When he became a White Whistle Delver, he used his original body as the material for the Life Reverberating Stone necessary to make the whistle, becoming his very own whistle himself. Since then, Bondrewd became nothing but a soul moving between bodies with the use of the Zoaholic. Despite this, his pursuit for knowledge of the Abyss remained just as strong.
During one of his experiments researching the Curse of the Abyss, Bondrewd offered children who wanted to unravel the secrets of The Abyss to come with him to the Ido Front. However, he never told them openly that they were going to be used as test subjects. Among the children were Nanachi and Mitty. As Bondrewd continued testing, more and more children were used up in his experiments until only Nanachi and Mitty were left. On his final test, he used both of them, resulting in Mitty being hit with the Curse of the Abyss, while Nanachi received the Blessing.
Afterward, Nanachi became his assistant in hope to find a way to return Mitty to her human form, but left with Mitty later on due to not being able to stand the experiments on humans any longer.
Sometime after, he took in an unfortunate child as his daughter and named her Prushka.
After Mitty is killed, Bondrewd is briefly seen observing that her light went out, to which he congratulates Nanachi from afar.
Bondrewd has been expecting that Riko, Reg, and Nanachi would arrive at Ido Front and welcomes them. He asks Nanachi to work for him again, to which they agree on the condition that Reg and Riko will not be hurt; however, it's too late, as Bondrewd has already ordered his Umbra Hands to examine Reg's body. After the three escape, he follows them with a few of his Umbra Hands. Soon after, Reg fights him, dragging him down under the ocean and then swiftly bringing him back up again. As result, Bondrewd sufferes the curse and his body is malformed beyond recognition.
Prushka arrives, with an Umbra Hand, at the scene and starts crying over the state Bondrewd is in. However, due to Zoaholic, Bondrewd has already transplanted his consciousness into the present Umbra Hand and takes the title of Bondrewd once again with the swap of his helmet. Prushka is overjoyed with relief that Bondrewd isn't dead, but he makes her pass out with an injection to make it easier to carry her back. Before Reg can attack again, he hits Riko with Curse Needles and invites them to visit him again before he returns to Ido Front.
In his new body, he puts Prushka into a cartridge, knowing her love and devotion to him will give him the Blessing if he tries to ascend. Indeed, when he fights Reg again, Bondrewd ascends from the Miniature Garden of Dawn and is able to receive the Blessing because of Prushka.
After his second defeat, his consciousness once again transfers into one of his Umbra Hands, though this time, he lets Riko, Reg, and Nanachi go, now accompanied by Meinya and Prushka, who is now in the form of a Life Reverberating Stone.
In order to sustain his energy and combat the Curse of the Abyss, Bondrewd creates specialized packages made from the flesh and essence of humans who exhibited love and loyalty to him in life. For portability, only the brain and vital organs of children are used. The Curse is deflected away from Bondrewd and onto the child in the cartridge instead. A cocktail of drugs is also used to induce a state of ecstasy and terror in the cartridge to boost the Curse-combating efficiency. Bondrewd is able to avoid the loss of humanity from ascending in the sixth layer and instead receive the Blessing of the Abyss.
Soul-Slave Machine, Auction Name: Zoaholic
A Special Grade Artifact. A horrifying Artifact capable of planting the soul of the user into another, taking control of them. The soul that's been planted can also be shared among those others. Simply being touched with it is enough to have a soul planted into oneself, and it's nigh impossible to escape the enchantment. The user and the subject don't necessarily have to be humans, because when it was first discovered, small animals were manipulating small insects into getting eaten. Humans are incapable of enduring the division of their consciousness by it. After a period of time post usage, their consciousness will eventually disperse, making them crippled.
Bondrewd divided his soul between each of his Umbra Hands prior to the events of the story. When he is killed by the Curse, his consciousness transferred into one of their bodies, who then take on his helmet as a symbolic gesture. Bondrewd's consciousness seems to have been altered to something that is no longer human as a result of repeated duplication, reflecting his transformation upon receiving the Blessing.
He can view events through the eyes of those whom he has implanted a fragment of his soul within, including Nanachi.
Ascending to the Morning Star, Auction Name: Gangway
Produced from an Artifact, the Stairway of Light. It releases a band of light to strike at the reflected target. It has the capability to strike the object where the user strongly focuses on and at multiple targets.
Hidden within illegal auctions, this one-of-a-kind artifact kept secret by the Lord of Dawn is of an unknown grade. It had the name "Stairway of Light" as its auction name, but even after being processed, it is still called by the same name. It's the mysterious ray of light that comes out of Bondrewd's gaped mask. It seems the ray of light doesn't damage anything the user doesn't focus on, so it won't cause any problem with anything it hits while it's being reflected.
Curse Needle, Auction Name: Shaker
An Unknown Grade Artifact that shoots darts cut from another Artifact, the Curse Steel. The Curse Steel is an Artifact capable of inducing the Curse of the Abyss in those who touch it. Currently, it is concealed by Bondrewd. It is a terrifying Artifact capable of inducing the Curse, but there are plenty of creatures of the deep that are resistant to the Curse of the Abyss. In short, this is mainly used against human opponents. Obviously, it won't do anything against Reg, who is curse-proof.
Touching the Moon, Auction Name: Far Caress
A Second Grade Artifact capable of manipulating countless tendrils. Incredibly tough and elastic. Strictly speaking, it's not exactly an artifact, but a native creature enclosed within a cylinder. It's classified as an artifact simply because it cannot be collected outside of the Abyss.
It's categorized as a Second Grade Artifact because of its unwieldiness, but Bondrewd used the myriads of himself to grasp the essence of this Artifact and dramatically increased its effectiveness.
Canopy Unto Dawn, Auction Name: Unknown
A processed Artifact of Unknown Grade. It is a custom-made full body armor specialized for the Umbra Hands' battle and delving use. A complex assembly made with Artifacts and bio-fibers, hiding a multitude of built-in weapons. However, the user remains unprotected against the burden of climbing upwards and must take proper measures separately. Mechanisms made to ease Bondrewd's consciousness-sharing are also provided.
Origin-guiding Light, Auction Name: Sparagmos
A processed Artifact of Unknown Grade. An Artifact that generates a mysterious blade of light. Things it hits will disintegrate, without any exceptions. It can only work for a short duration of time and makes a lot of heat.
It is possible that it's of the same kind as Reg's Incinerator. It possesses an unknown power, capable of rewriting the rules of the Abyss.
It seems it has never appeared at auction, which means that its auction name is something that Bondrewd made up himself, just like how Riko would as well—he went along with that.
- (To Nanachi) "May your journey overflow with curses and blessings."
- (To Prushka) "As long as I have your love, I am immortal."
- "Sparagmos" is the Ancient Greek rite of cutting apart and dismembering a sacrifice to be offered to the gods.
- In chapter 45, it is revealed by Belafu that Bondrewd has actually visited Ilblu on multiple occasions and was quite familiar with the inhabitants, meaning that he and Nanachi are the only two known beings to return from the 6th layer with their humanity (questionable or otherwise) intact.