Late in the night, Riko’s room – also known as the “Former Punishment Room” – is still brightly lit. Riko is preparing tools and equipment for a trip into the Abyss the next day. Afterwards she goes to bed, though does not sleep right away , thinking about what she will do the next day, and how she should convince her strict teacher, Leader, to allow her to delve in deeper altitudes. She then thinks about her mother and how, thanks to her, she was given a chance to be Delver. The girl then falls asleep.
Early next morning, Riko awakes and prepares herself, then quickly leaves to begin her delving trip into The Abyss. As Riko begins her trip, Kiyui is at home reading a book about the Abyss. A narrative begins; the narrator explains the allure of The Abyss, as well as its currently known features, and how people have been exploring the great pit for 1900 years, since its discovery, to the formation of the city by the Abyss, Orth.
The scenes switches back to Kiyui, now soundly asleep. Nearby is Riko, having returned from her trip, sitting near a window and peering into the Abyss with a telescope. Riko then spots a nest of Hammerbeaks, and watches as one is attacked by an unknown predator, but the rest then retaliate. Riko's yelling of excitement catches the attention of the telescope's owner, Laffi, reading a letter from her husband Hablog. Riko then inquires about Hablog's location, and is told that the Black Whistle Delver is approaching the 2nd layer of The Abyss. The woman and Riko then discuss the shared goal of Hablog and Riko: to be White Whistle Delvers. They are then interrrupted by Shiggy, who comes to call Riko back to the Orphanage. On the way back, Riko and Shiggy then continue discussing the goal of becoming a White Whistle.
Returned to the Belchero Orphanage, Riko then attends a briefing where her teacher, Leader and Belchero. Afterward, they return to the room they keep Reg hidden in and theorize about his origins; because he lost his memories.
Riko recalls a lecture Leader gave, explaining why delvers often fail to return from The Abyss alive. When ascending from The Abyss, delvers suffer numerous symptoms, which are more severe the greater the depths they ascend from; starting at minor sickness to certain death. There is no way to avoid the curse. Each layer has a specific effect, which is explained in detail.
In the present, Riko theorizes that Reg is immune to the Curse and therefore could have originated in and climbed from the depths of The Abyss. He agrees it is possible, but has no idea why he came to the surface. Shiggy brings out a book that lists all known major (special, first, and second grade) artifacts, stating that there are no autonomous robots in the list. To Reg's increasing embarrassment, Riko reveals the discoveries of her experiments: he is powered by food and/or electricity; he can melt petrified trees; his skin resists stabbing and drilling; he can sweat and cry; his hair doesn't burn; his sight, hearing, and sense of smell are all better than Riko's; his arms can extend and untie themselves if tangled; he has incredible grip strength; his penis seems real rather than mechanical.
Shiggy concludes that the boy is a collection of artifacts, likely one of the most valuable findings in The Abyss's history, and possibly an Aubade, a treasure of the netherworld. Riko gets excited and imagines a bright future because of the find, but Shiggy argues that they would be accused of hiding a treasure from the orphanage, which is forbidden. Even if they turned the boy in, he would be taken away and broken down into his component parts. Since the kids must all attend classes and work, there is no way they can conceal the boy. Riko bursts into tears, wanting to keep him, so Shiggy comes up with a plan.
Following Shiggy's plan, Reg approaches Leader, posing as a homeless orphan who wants to become a delver, while the kids watch anxiously from the bushes. The boy claims to have lived in the slums with his older sister, and suffering from amnesia since an accident, so he cannot explain his mechanical hands. He introduces himself as Reg. Leader questions Reg about the incident in The Abyss a few days ago, but Reg pretends to know nothing. Reg is accepted into the orphanage. On Shiggy's advice, Reg decides not to venture into The Abyss armed with no memories, and decides to learn the ways of the delvers. However, Reg soon finds the children are taught very little about The Abyss, and instead spends most of his time doing chores, learning about life at the orphanage, and hiding the fact that he is a robot. Reg expected to get a Red Whistle like the others, but those are only given out just before the first descent into The Abyss, so he is instead given a bell.
Reg spends two months at the orphanage, finding it easy to adjust to life there. He is now three days away from his first descent. He is spending time with Kiyui when Riko excitedly runs up, saying that Laffi's husband, Hablog, and his team have returned from the Abyss's 2nd layer. She drags Reg with her, eager to ask Hablog about his trip. Many people have gathered around The Abyss to welcome Habolg's team, and Riko pushes her way to the front. Riko and Reg see Hablog handing over a White Whistle and a sealed package to a man in black. Someone recognizes the whistle as Lyza the Annihilator's, which excites the crowd. Reg wonders about Lyza's ominous title, and why only her whistle was returned. Then he notices Riko is oddly quiet. Riko reveals that Lyza is her mother's name.
A few days afterwards Orth's Resurrection Festival, where a puppet show dedicated to Lyza is displayed, is taking place. A narrator lists each delver rank. He praises the White Whistles, who have made world-changing discoveries and are celebrated as great heroes. He then welcomes Lyza's soul home, and lists her accomplishments, especially her ferocity in battle. Reg, who is working backstage with other kids from Belchero Orphanage, closely observes the festival. Nat and Shiggy explain the significance of the Eternal Fortune to him.
Replicas of Lyza's White Whistle are being sold by the orphanage, but Riko now has the real one. In a flashback, Hablog gives Lyza's whistle to Riko. Riko is hesitant to accept it, but Hablog explains that the custom is for a relative to inherit them. When he suggests the option of giving the whistle to the Delver Guild, Riko finally chooses to keep it. Habolg adds that Lyza's whistle, which was delivered by Seeker Camp guards, was accompanied by a sealed letter that may be intended for Riko, but it must be examined first.
Leader finds Riko sitting alone. He encourages her to participate in the festival, since it is in her mother's honor, and Lyza was fond of them. Riko asks what type of person Lyza was, admitting she can't remember her mother's face. Leader's description is unflattering, but he was clearly fond of Lyza. He asks about Riko's eyes, and she says she no longer has headaches, as long as she wears her glasses. Leader reveals that Riko's eyes aren't bad, she is suffering from the Curse of The Abyss.
More than 12 years ago, just after Lyza became pregnant with Riko, she was ordered to obtain the Unheard Bell from The Abyss's 4th layer. The mission lasted over 10 months and was extremely lethal: most of Lyza's team died, including the Black Whistle Torka, Riko's father. Riko is amazed to learn that she was actually born in The Abyss, and at first mistakenly thinks she is resistant to the Curse. Leader reminds her of how sick she was after her first dive. An infant resisting the ascension strain from 4th layer is unthinkable. Instead, the infant Riko was placed inside the Curse-Warding Box that Lyza brought along. Lyza and her strongest remaining team member carried the box to the surface, but had to abandon the Unheard Bell to do so. Leader stresses the value of such an artifact, to make Riko realize how important her survival was to Lyza. However, the box could not protect Riko completely, and her eyes were impacted by the Curse. Leader asks what Riko will do about the artifact that was abandoned for her sake, which encourages her. But after she leaves, he reveals that Lyza already went back and recovered the Unheard Bell.
Leader later informs Riko that she now has permission to view Lyza's sealed letter at the Delver Guild HQ. He orders Reg to accompany her. Most of Lyza's letter contains profiles of creatures that are not in the official record yet. Among them is a figure that looks a great deal like Reg. There is also a single scrap of paper which bears the message, "I'll be waiting at the bottom of the Abyss."
- Volume 1, Chapter 1: Orth, Town at the Edge of the Abyss
- Volume 1, Chapter 4: Belchero Orphanage
- Volume 1, Chapter 5: Resurrection Festival
references to previous episodes
Bestiary Indexing Edit
"I'll be waiting at the bottom of the Abyss."
BGM (Soundtrack Used in this Episode) Edit
- Tour the Abyss
- Indoor Voices
- Days in the Sun
- Welcome to my World
- Orth Waltz
- 2 Months
- Remembering Home