|Sprout VI: Epilogue of Prologue|
|Story Arc||Forest of Thorns Arc|
Sprout 5: Jetrose's Ridicule
After having shot Claudia, Shion walks around the room and unloads his Death Scythe Gun; asking Claudia if she was aware that there are two kinds of Death Scythe bullets. Continuing, Shion reveals that the one he'd just shot her with allows him to control a Rose's movements. Pulling out a new bullet, Shion explains that this bullet is capable of melting away Claudia's entire body, being the only thing that can guide her to her death; asking if it wasn't a fitting fate for her before calling her a filthy Crimson Rose. This makes Claudia remember Xeno, and while struggling to use her strength she turns to see Xeno collapsed against a nearby wall. Claudia outright refuses to give up on life and leave Xeno, encouraging herself to move quick as she pushes herself to her feet; much to Shion's chagrin. Claudia accuses Shion of being the one to make Xeno say the awful things he'd said to her. Amused, Shion attacks Claudia with his thorned thorns - but as she braces herself for the attack, Claudia's own thorns defend her from Shion. Jumping to a nearby window, Claudia worries that she'll be unable to control her thorns for much longer, but is shocked to see that she could still move; instead calling Shion's bluff by writing off his Death Scythe as useless for being unable to take down the likes of her, a mere failure.
Shion, for a short while, is caught off guard when Claudia uses the word "failure", confusing her as to what the word could mean to Shion. Shion soon shrugs it off and attacks Claudia outright, telling her that if she's truly such a failure then she should just disappear, As Shion's thorns destroy the window Claudia was resting on, Claudia falls to the floor, only to grab some of the rubble that had fallen with her and throw it at Shion in order to disorient him further and allow her to escape around the corner. While hiding, Claudia states that the way that Shion has been constantly calling her a failure is akin to him saying it to himself. Furious, Shion launches his thorns at the source of Claudia's voice, ordering her to shut up as his thorns break through the wall and wrap around her neck; lifting her into the air.
While looking at Claudia, Shion remembers overhearing some of the researchers talk about the Crimson Rose and how she was impervious to the Black Spot, while also being able to survive without the consumption of humans. This lead the researchers to wonder whether or not The Scientist wanted to harness the Crimson Rose's powers all for himself, suggesting that he'd called her a failure so that he could research her privately while they were forced to deal with the true failures, the Black Roses.
Slamming Claudia into the ground, Shion insisted that she was wrong, as the Black Roses aren't the failures. Seeing Shion act like this makes Claudia wonder if the two of them really aren't so different afterall. Even so, Claudia calls Shion a brat and notes how he's bothered by what the researchers had said about the Black Roses being failures, yet he still has people who are willing to remain by his side, just like her. Claudia mentions that her friends do not view her as a monster, or fear her, and would never recognize her just as the Crimson Rose - but they are willing to call her by name and remain by her side. Thus, so long as her friends continued to call her by her name, Claudia could continue on as herself; as that kind of proof of her existence is more than enough for her.
Just as Xeno begins to regain consciousness, Shion commands Claudia to shut up and moves to shoot her with the Crimson Bullet in order to kill her once and for all. Before he can do so however, Claudia grabs a nearby shard of glass and uses it to stab herself in the shoulder; spraying her blood in Shion's face. Throwing Shion off of her, Claudia rips his thorns off of her and claims that, just like Shion had said, she was ignorant and weak, but because of that she had to keep on living until she found out what she was really capable of.
As Claudia goes after Shion, Shion remembers his past; telling Victoria that the researchers who had once loved them feared them all of a sudden. Shion questioned if the reason for this was because of the Crimson Rose's presence that they're being neglected. Wondering what they should do, Shion worried that the Black Roses would lose their purpose and no longer be needed. Comforting Shion, Victoria wrapped her arms around the young Black Rose and told him that the place to exist is for them to discover, stating that she and the other Black Roses needed him, and so if he continued to feel neglected she and his friends would continue calling out his name until he felt as though he truly belonged.As the smoke clears, Claudia is revealed to have had a Crimson-Shell gun strapped to her thigh, which she'd just shot Shion with. As the Claudia's blood is released from the bullet and the poison seeps into Shion's veins, Shion thinks about how, from the bottom of his heart, he'd wanted to kill Claudia - believing that if Claudia were gone The Scientist might love him again and come back; however, Shion realizes that what matters most is the ones who would remain by his side always. Dropping to the floor, Shion calls out for Victoria one last time before closing his eyes.
Relieved, Claudia falls backwards, finding herself in Xeno's arms. Together the two drop to the floor, where Claudia realizes that Xeno's arm has become mutated thanks to Shion's poison. While Claudia worries about Xeno's arm, Xeno assures her that it isn't a problem and instructs her not to touch it, instead apologizing for breaking his promise by hurting her rather than protecting her. Shocked, Claudia tells Xeno that he hasn't failed her, as he had protected her in the very end - instead stating that, if anything, she was the one who couldn't get anything right; knowing that there was no way she could pay him back for all he'd done. Xeno cradles Claudia's face in his palms, looking her in the eye and stating that she still trusted him, stating that her trust was enough and that his heart had been rescued and redeemed because of it. Xeno then slumps in Claudia's arms, prompting Claudia to embrace him tightly with tears in her eyes. Xeno simply laughs and returns her embrace, joking that Claudia is a crybaby.Claudia then realizes that Shion's thorns are getting out of control, standing in preparation, only to have one of Shion's thorns blast through the ceiling; sending rubble tumbling toward Claudia and Xeno. Fortunately, Wilhelm arrives just in time to deflect the rubble. Wilhelm mentions that Shion is almost completely used up, urging Claudia and Xeno to move quickly before the entire room collapsed on top of them. While Xeno helps Wilhelm drag an unconscious Robin to safety, Claudia looks back to Shion, who lays defeated on the floor looking back to her. As Wilhelm carries Claudia in his arms, she accepts that it's finally over, happy to see that everything will return to normal and that she'll have her old Xeno back - thinking of how once he recovers Xeno can pat her head all he likes, as she knows she won't get mad about it this time. Claudia continues to mutter to herself, stating that she still wants to talk to Xeno, as he'd said nothing about himself, asking if he'd remembered when he told her to bloom proudly where everyone can see her; wanting to be by his side to show him how much she'd bloomed.
Just then, Claudia realizes that Xeno had not left with her and Wilhelm - with Wilhelm revealing that Xeno had requested to be left behind - knowing well that the fact that he'd regained control was a miracle and that he could still fully mutate and be a danger to Claudia. Unwilling to let things end like this, Claudia reaches back for Xeno, citing everything as pointless without him, as she cannot live without him. Claudia then slumps unconscious in Wilhelm's arms.
Three days later, Wilhelm seeks out Ruskin, who reveals that they were unable to find either Shion or Xeno's bodies among the rubble. Ruskin asks how Claudia's condition is, with Wilhelm admitting that it's the same as usual, guiding Ruskin to Claudia's room and revealing that she'd fallen into a coma. Les, who had been sitting beside the unconscious Claudia, asks Wilhelm if she'll ever wake up again, Wilhelm remains adamant that Claudia will wake as soon as she recovers - though Les wonders if she'd recovering physically or emotionally. Les then asks if the end is the beginning, does that mean it will begin again, to which Wilhelm confirms, though for now they must let her sleep until the roses bloom again; closing the doors and leaving Claudia to rest peacefully by herself in her room.
- Sprout VI: Epilogue of Prologue marked the end of Jun Mochizuki's first series, Crimson-Shell.
- Though it was left with a cliffhanger, it is unknown whether or not Jun Mochizuki will revive the series for continuation and completion.
|Characters||Claudia • Xeno • Shion Liddell • Wilhelm • Ruskin • Les • Robin Wingfield • Melissa • Gerhardt Bathler • Baines • Victoria • The Scientist|
|Chapters||Prologue of Prologue • Whisper of Thorn • Invitation to a Nightmare • His Eaten Mind • A Jet Rose's Ridicule • Epilogue of Prologue|
|Terminology||Premier Rose • Death Scythe • Thorn • The Infected • Premier Rose Seed • Black Roses • Jet Roses • The Black Spot • Crimson Rose|