|"They might just be the perfect opponents for that man."
Radox's thoughts on the Cat's assassins.
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|Chapter 148 ←||Chapter 149||→ Chapter 150|
|Volume 22, Chapter 149|
Preliminary Battle II
The Busters - Petty Layner, Jessica Edwin, Isabella Lucas, and Sawatari Isuzu - are formally introduced with each of them bearing a murderous past and unstable personalities. Radox Phantomheim fears the result of giving these monsters ungodly strength, but believes they will be a proper challenge for Gengo Aoi, who re-introduces Scarlett Ohara to Maria Lancelot. After he tells her of his romantic connection with Maria, Gengo reveals that Maria is still alive. The once-thought crystallized corpse then shows her "everything" at her lover's request.
Radox Phantomheim sits in a chair, being briefed on the four ex-Chevalier Pandora that are on the Failure List. Each of them bears about a 120-percent compatibility with stigmata, and would have been chosen for Heroic Stigmata over the current generation of Pandora who hold them.
First on the list is Petty Layner. She savagely beat up a Pandora because she did not like her. After being detained and punished, she attacked the same Pandora until she was immobile, and killed the Pandora's Limiter in front of her. She was sentenced to 210 years in prison for first-degree murder. Second on the list is Jessica Edwin. During her fourth year at Genetics, she staged the deaths of her parents in a car accident, in which she survived because of her Pandora body. She did so for her parents' money. She also attempted to kill her brother, but the plan was foiled, earning her 350 years in prison on two accounts of first-degree murder. Third, with the worst set of crimes, is Isabella Lucas. Although she was not a Genetics student, she was a nurse who joined the Chevalier at age 23 because of her incredible compatibility with Stigmata. However, the Chevalier soon discovered that she had killed thirteen newborn babies as a nurse. She was consequently sentenced to 500 years in prison.
Radox begins to realize what kind of women he will be working with. Last on the list is Sawatari Isuzu. Although she is not an incarcerated criminal, she made the list because of her circumstances surrounding her unstable romantic relationships. The scientist elaborates that Sawatari has certainly killed, once as a Genetics student, another time as a Chevalier Pandora, and two more times as a civilian, however, all of her killings were ruled as self-defense. As a Pandora, Sawatari had a romantic relationship with two other Limiters. When their Pandoras found out, they each attacked Sawatari. However, Sawatari would emerge from the fights unscathed and her attackers died by their own weapons or from losing control of their Stigmata. Despite her innocence, Sawatari was forced to retire, after which she was involved in two other cases where civilian women were killed under similar circumstances. Of the four women on the list, Sawatari has the highest compatibility with the stigmata, but will likely be the most difficult to control.
Radox begins to fear the power he is about to give such dangerous women. He is informed that Jessica, Isabella, and Petty have accepted the conditions: upon successful completion of the mission, the Busters would be able to live in freedom in Mexico. However, since Sawatari has yet to be given an incentive, Radox opts to personally talk with her. He believes that these group of demons, being granted with the power of gods, will be the perfect challenge for Gengo Aoi.
At the Ravensbourne Nucleotide, Gengo and Ohara come to Maria Lancelot. When Ohara wants to know Gengo's game; Gengo apologizes to her. Years ago when she was running a schematic of Maria's body, with her skills, she came very close toward learning the secrets about Maria, which would eventually connect her to Gengo, hence the true reason for her dismissal from Lab 13. Even more, she loved Gengo, but he loved Maria.
Ohara gets infuriated when she realizes her love was outmatched by a dead woman. She just calms herself in defeat, gives up with an apology, and asks Gengo to leave her alone. Gengo tells her that there are not any corpses inside the Ravensbourne Nucleotide. Gengo admits he would have loved her if Maria were not alive, and that he cannot betray her.
She is shocked at such a revelation. She looks up to see Maria looking down at her with unimpressed eyes that actually move, proving her life. Gengo then asks Maria to show her "everything." Maria moves her fingers, complying to her lover's request. A gentle swirl of crystalline blue light surrounds Gengo and Ohara, ready to show her the truth.
- Introduction of the Busters: Petty Layner, Jessica Edwin, Isabella Lucas, and Sawatari Isuzu.
- Petty, Jessica, and Isabella have agreed to take part in Operation Cat Killer.
- Scarlett is told the truth of her termination from Lab 13.
- Maria Lancelot is revealed to be alive and she shows shows Scarlett "everything."
- Isabella Lucas apparently escaped prison and went into hiding by becoming a Kindergarten teacher.
- Scarlett and Gengo had a romantic past.
- The "Failure List" are a small group of four ex-Chevalier Pandora criminals, who were dismissed from the organization due to issues with their psychological states and committing murders despite their unbelievable capabilities as warriors. Radox Phantomheim has chosen these four unstable women to execute Operation Cat Killer and they will be known as the Busters.