IT’S BEEN SO LONG SINCE I TOUCHED AN OTOME GAME!! Anyway, I couldn’t resist picking up something shiny and new even though other tried-and-true good games are gathering dust in my backlog void (aka. Clock Zero, Haitaka, CollarxMalice, etc.) so oops. But this game got good reviews and I keep seeing amazing art so !! plus I’m in the mood for mafia and underworld stuff after Arlen’s Rouge et Noir CD. Yes, I’m still haunted by that to this day.
I’m playing this completely blind, so no spoilers please! I also don’t know much about this except there’s three families in this city and the heroine seems to have some sort of “key” and ends up being crucial to everyone (when is the heroine not though, right?). So, without further delay, let’s begin!
Note: The title can be translated to “The Evening Bell of the Pious Flower”.
*** PROLOGUE ***
An entire narration without voice is done at the beginning of the game by Roberto De Feo, a police officer that was sent to Burlone from Questura di Roma (the police headquarters in Rome). He is writing his periodic report to headquarters despite it not being due for some time still when he is interrupted by Marco – his boss in Burlone – who calls him Robby (he doesn’t like that).
His report consists of how the city Burlone is known as the backdoor to Europe, located in the province of Foggia in the Apulia (Puglia) region of Italy. It is now controlled by the mafia though, specifically three families. The first is the Falzone mafia, located in the north and controlling over 60% of the town under Falce. They value blood highly and all their members are pureblooded Italian. The current leader, or “capo” as they call this rank, is Dante Falzone, who succeeded the family when his father died of illness. He is young but known to be cool-headed.
A small group in Falzone disagreed with this rule, plus their pureblood nonsense, and splintered off into the Visconti family that rules Creta to the east of Burlone. They are open to the Americas and welcome new blood into their ranks. This family expanded quickly with the influx of new members and money that was brought in. Their boss is currently Gilbert Redford, who is known for being very confident and rich.
The last organization is in Veleno to the south-west and was a small community of immigrants before the appearance of a mysterious man known only as “Yang”. After Yang appeared the small community was turned into an organization, a Chinese mafia called Lao-Shu. They are the most openly criminal group with underground dealings and they love violence and war. As mentioned above, not much is known about Yang and he rarely appears in public.
Roberto asks Marco to sign his report when he’s done. Marco doesn’t mind doing that but he also comments on how Roberto is an elite officer and this placement in Burlone is only temporary, so Roberto doesn’t need to be so sullen when he’ll be called back to Rome soon, within next year. Marco suggests Roberto be more easygoing about his work but Roberto declines that curtly because he became a police officer for the sake of justice.
But this town is overrun with criminals strutting all over the place and he can’t overlook that! Marco sighs because he’s not denying Roberto’s sense of justice and understands where he’s coming from; however, they can’t touch the mafia as police officers. Roberto thinks that’s stupid because Burlone should obey the law if it’s a part of Italy.
Marco sighs because he thinks that would be the case if Burlone were a normal city but even though it is currently under Italy’s rule it used to be a religious state. Even if it is the country, they can’t make demands on a religious land. Essentially, Burlone has complete extraterritoriality and the laws of Italy means shit to this town. For convenience, there is a local police that is placed as an autonomous entity but they’re powerless and there’s no one who can defy the mafia. Even the Questura of Rome is treating Burlone like a tumor and no matter how many serious reports Roberto sends, they won’t get off their asses. DAMN I’M LEARNING SOME HARD WORDS HERE LOL.
Roberto is really upset about this, but Marco takes it in stride since he knows Roberto is an outsider who just came and so can’t accept it. However, he is giving Roberto a warning as an elder 「おまえには未来がある。……死に急ぐな。」(You have a future… Don’t rush to your death).
*** PROLOGUE 01 – DAY 01 ***
Liliana Adornato (nicknamed Lily) wakes up in her room in the church and notices that it’s already autumn. She goes into the main hall and kneels to do her morning prayers, holding a rosary in both hands, thanking God for how she can greet a new day like this, and wishing to be guided towards yet another fulfilling day. Her morning prayers are like a greeting to God. Anyway, she then sets off to cleaning so she can open the church to the elderly who arrive early to do their prayers. If she takes her time she’ll end up making them wait.
After cleaning the church she goes to the backyard to rake up leaves. At the speed she’s working at, she’ll have time to help out with breakfast in the church. Elena Croce, her good friend, is on cooking duty this morning and she’s looking forward to it— Liliana’s thoughts are interrupted when she sees a man standing in the cemetery.
She recognizes him as Dante Falzone, the capo of the Falzone mafia family, and every Wednesday he comes with white lilies to place on a grave. She knows he’s a terrifying person who leads hundreds of people in the mafia, but maybe it’s because of the sunlight and the cold and dignified air around him that makes the air around him seem to shine and she finds him handsome. Dante glances over and their eyes meet.
Liliana can’t believe she was fascinated by a mafia capo and he probably noticed her staring so hard at him. She drops her eyes and her ears turn red as she wonders what to do, because she’s embarrassed at her own actions. And then Dante puts the lilies on the grave and then walks towards her; he needs to pass her to get to the front of the church. Liliana debates on greeting him and chooses to:
- Good morning
She knows it’s rude not to greet him and, normally, as members of the church they would greet people who come but Liliana assumes that Dante doesn’t want to be seen since he’s here this early in the morning to offer a bouquet to the grave. So, she decides not to say anything and just gives a small nod. However, Dante stops in front of her and when she addresses him as “signore” (Mister in Italian), he comments on how she’s up early.
Liliana hurriedly explains that she’s cleaning things up before people come to church. He’s up early too. Dante nods and acknowledges that. Liliana is a little startled as to why he’s talking to her, because they’ve never had a proper conversation up to now. Did he suddenly feel like it? It’s natural that a mafia capo wouldn’t talk to a normal person like her.
Dante looks at her with a bit of a severe expression and then quietly says his farewells with “buona giornata”, wishing her a good day. Liliana replies “anche tu, signore” (and you too, mister). Anyway, she inadvertently looks over to the grave where he placed his lilies and thinks on how it’s a Falzone grave, where the previous capo and his wife rest. OH GOD THIS GAME IS ITALIAN 101 IN JAPANESE.
Anyway, it’s mealtime now and Liliana is breaking bread with the other sisters and children. Orphans are taken in by the church where they are given food, a place to sleep, and education; when they become adults they can choose to remain in the church and help the sisters, which is what Liliana and Elena chose. Sister Sofia leads the prayer before a meal, thanking the Lord for his mercy in providing them a meal and blessing their providence which supports their mind and soul.
Everyone starts to eat after the prayers are done but Liliana notices a boy, Jean, who isn’t eating. When she asks him about it another girl, Laura, chimes in to say that Jean is new to the church and picky about his food. Jean immediately tells on Laura and how she wanted cornet (cone-shaped pastry) and cappuccino. Laura defends her choice because it gives an adult atmosphere. Liliana mediates and tells Jean to eat his food so he can grow big, which is what he wants. She tells Laura to eat properly as well so she can be big enough to eat at a bar alone (by the way, Italian bars are basically cafes and not like… alcohol bars).
Although she thinks that even if they go to a bar they wouldn’t get this delicious soup, because Elena makes the best minestra maritata. Today’s soup has some cumin in it and the biscotti Elena baked are slightly sweet and have a gentle taste. Elena thanks her and enjoys cooking because Liliana enjoys eating it so much, but she thinks Liliana is better at baking sweets and asks to be taught next time. Meanwhile, Jean and Laura want Liliana to read to them after breakfast. Liliana agrees since she’s finished her chores before noon. The children cheer only for Sofia to remind them to be quieter during meals to show appreciation towards the Lord.
Anyway, Liliana takes the children out to the backyard to read a children’s book about God and angels; it conveys the church’s teachings in a way that’s easy for children to understand. Liliana makes sure they’re all warm with blankets before beginning. She continues from where she left off, but Jean immediately wants her to read the new section over again because angels are cool! Laura recalls that there’s a legend about an angel related to this church too. Liliana praises her memory and tells them that, in the past, an angel descended from the heavens and ordered people to build a church here. HMM… PLOT POINT?
But then they’re interrupted by Sofia who tells Liliana that they’re running out of ingredients for the pastries Liliana was going to bake to accompany their porridge tomorrow. Liliana agrees to go shopping and reconsider the pastries she’ll make so as not to waste ingredients. Sofia feels apologetic since Liliana was with the kids but Liliana doesn’t mind; she enjoys pleasing people and working for the church makes her happy. A lot of children, after they turned 20, set out to work but Liliana stays here.
She also doesn’t mind doing tasks for Sofia because Sofia’s knees start to hurt every year when winter comes around. Sofia thanks her again and calls Liliana a kind child. In any case, Liliana’s pastries are also well-received and everyone is looking forward to them tomorrow, even people in Strano (the slums, where people who don’t belong to a mafia live; many get their meals from the church’s soup kitchen).
Liliana gives her farewells to the children. Laura accepts it reluctantly while Jean is envious because he wants to go outside and play too. Sofia reminds him that he can’t go out to play because being outside of the church is dangerous. Liliana backs her up and says that even if they get the chance to go outside they cannot leave Arca (neutral zone where the police, courts, hospital, church, and schools are; the mafia isn’t allowed to invade here), and they especially need to avoid Veleno and Strano.
Jean asks what to do if they meet a mafia member. Laura suggests not meeting their eyes. Sofia shakes her head and instructs them to greet the member properly, especially the Falzone family that values manners and religious faith. Anyway, Sofia leads the children into saying goodbye to Liliana and takes over reading the children’s book in her stead. YOU TELL ME THIS AFTER I MAKE A CHOICE WITH DANTE!! EXCUSE ME!!
Liliana heads out and is immediately greeted by an old lady with “buongiorno”, which is an Italian greeting. Meanwhile, an old man greets her and comments on how she’s as beautiful as always and his day is going to be good now that he’s seen her. Liliana thanks him with “grazie”, Italian for thank you. The two are here to pray.
They start to chat about how Liliana is going to buy ingredients for pastries. The two admire how Liliana can support the place that raised her by baking pastries and selling them at Catholic Mass, unlike the other young people who abandon their home place quickly. Liliana recalls how two friends, Viola and Eliza, left town the other month; they came to church for advice. The old lady comments on how young people long for the big city.
Anyway, the old man reminds Liliana to take care when she heads out of Arca, and especially not to walk in Veleno alone. Liliana laughs at that because she just warned the children about that. She thanks them for their concern and reassures them that she’s just going to the shop and straight back and gives her farewells.
Exiting the church grounds, Liliana ends up on the main street of Arca and comes out in front of a casino. Burlone is a beautiful port city and so there’s a lot of tourists that come here, as well as VIPs and government people. It’s lively at night but right now in the afternoon the streets are empty.
Liliana quickly buys her ingredients and starts considering making torta al limone (a lemon tart) if she gets flour and lemons. She prefers using lemon cream and herbs but the cream will spoil quickly. Maybe, since it’s accompanying porridge, she should make something that’s baked. As she’s thinking this, she hears girls whispering excitedly about an attractive man. Liliana follows their gaze to see a man sitting at a bar and it’s as if the sun is shining only on him.
She recognizes him as someone who frequently comes to Mass with Signore Falzone; she doesn’t know his name but she’s confident that he’s one of Falzone’s men. Their eyes suddenly meet and Liliana remembers that this happened just earlier. But then the man winks at her and even though she knows intellectually that he’s doing it nonchalantly and that it means nothing she doesn’t have much experience with men, having been raised in a church, and so she turns red.
Her distraction doesn’t last long when she accidentally crashes into someone and drops her lemons. The person she crashed into is Roberto and he snaps at her to watch her path. Marco is with him and he tells Robby to apologize because he’s the one who crashed into Lily. Roberto reminds Marco testily that his name is Roberto and he doesn’t want to be called a weird nickname. Liliana quickly tells Marco that she’s alright and it’s her fault she wasn’t watching where she was going. Marco clucks his tongue and tells Roberto to be grateful Lily is such a nice girl.
Liliana knows the two are detectives and she’s heard that Marco was born in Burlone and whenever there’s trouble at the church he comes to help. Roberto is new to town and he always has a tense air, maybe because he hasn’t grown used to the town, or Liliana wonders if it’s because he dislikes her since he’s always been curt since they met. Roberto catches her staring and she hurriedly averts her eyes and crouches to pick up her lemons.
Suddenly, polished shoes appear in her vision and she looks up to see the man at the bar in front of her. He wipes a lemon with his fingers and holds it out to her. She thanks him with “grazie, signore” but then Roberto snarls out the man’s name, Nicola Francesca, and he’s shocked a mafia member like Nicola would have the audacity to walk around here. People on the streets are startled at the shout but when they see that it’s Roberto they turn away like they don’t know him.
Meanwhile, Nicola calmly says that whatever he does is no business of Roberto’s. Roberto asks if the other is looking down at him because the police station is within a stone’s throw, but Nicola replies that he was just drinking coffee. Is that a reason to arrest him? The espresso at that bar is very good and so Nicola can’t help but drop in. Marco chides Roberto quietly, aware of the people around them, and reminds him of the city’s rules. He also reminds Roberto that he is a police officer of Burlone, not any other city but this one.
Roberto angrily snaps out 「……ええ、わかっていますとも！ このブルローネは、マフィアの支配を、公然と受け入れている！ 彼らに正義などないと知りながら、市民の誰もが奴隷のように従属している！ こんな状況、認められるものか……！ 治外法権？ 犯罪者は正義の名のもとに等しく罰せられるべきだ！！」(… Yes, I’m well aware! Burlone has openly accepted the rule of the mafia! Not knowing anything like justice, they subject every citizen to being a slave! As if I could accept this situation…! Extraterritoriality? Criminals should be punished equally under the name of justice!!). THIS GUY HAS SUCH A BONER FOR JUSTICE, WOW.
Nicola comments on how he’s a very noble detective, but Roberto thinks he’s being mocked. Well, Nicola can only laugh now, because the current administration is rejecting the mafia so things won’t always go their way! Marco is exasperated and reprimands Roberto again because Nicola is the type to let this pass with a laugh, but if it were anyone else like Falzone’s capo or Lao-Shu’s people then by tomorrow Roberto would be fish food in the Adriatic Sea.
Roberto snaps out that he’s heard this more than enough and leaves to return to work. Marco apologizes to Nicola and says he’s told Roberto this so many times the other man should have calluses on his ears. Nicola only chuckles and sympathizes with how hard it must be. Marco is aware that this town only grew this large because of the grace of Falzone. For someone like Roberto, born and raised outside, it is probably a bit hard to understand.
At any rate, Marco decides to go back to the station too and tells Lily to come see him if anything troubling happens. Although it’s unlikely anything will happen in Arca; he glances at Nicola as he says this. Liliana knows that it’s an unwritten rule that the Burlone mafia cannot attack each other in Arca. Marco waves goodbye, reminding Lily that his door is open since they’ve known each other for a long time and it’s his style to be kind to women and children.
And then Nicola notices that she’s bought a lot and scoops up her groceries in a natural move before offering to escort her back to the church. Liliana chooses to:
- Thank you, but no thank you
- Thank you
Liliana tells him she can carry it herself but Nicola tells her not to be reserved, which makes her gape at him. She points out that she can’t possibly let a Falzone member carry her bags. Nicola chuckles, but realizes that it’s natural for people to fear the mafia. However, he’s also an Italian man and he can’t let a lovely woman carry a large amount of groceries alone. Liliana tells him that it’s not a lot but he starts to walk off and so she has to chase after him.
Anyway, he walks her to the church and she thanks him, but he says that her smile is more than enough of a reward. Before he leaves though he warns her to be careful.
Liliana is puzzled by his words but he’s gone before he says anything else. She wonders if he meant watching where she was walking in the future? But there’s no way to figure out what he meant and she changes her mind to helping out Elena with dinner and enters the church.
At night, she makes sure to lock the church doors, which are left open during the afternoon for anyone to come and pray. As she places her hand on the doors though she thinks she sees someone cut across the front yard and head to the back, but she ultimately decides that it’s her imagination. Liliana locks the doors and heads to her room.
It’s midnight by now and she gets changed and prepares to sleep. Her eyes catch on her reflection in the mirror though and she looks at the birthmark on her chest. She thought it’d disappear as she grew older but it didn’t.
Anyway, she hurriedly finishes changing since it’s cold and then kneels down, clasps her hands, and goes to offer a prayer to God like she always does. What should she pray for today?
- Gratitude for today
- For tomorrow to be a good day as well
Liliana thanks the Lord for protecting her today and gives her gratitude for passing an enjoyable day. She is blessed to simply be alive like this. Without any parents, before she gained awareness, she might have passed out on the side of the road; instead, she was raised kindly in this church. Liliana prays that one day she will be of help to someone. Liliana lies down on her soft bed and goes to sleep.
*** MEANWHILE – THE WIND’S DIRECTION ***
Two children, a girl and a boy, welcome Yang home but he tells them in an unhurried and calm voice to shut up because their voices hurt his head. The girl pouts about how mean he is but Yang is unfazed and tells her that children should be asleep at this time. The boy asks Yang if he wants to listen to a report though? Yang thinks on that for a moment and then gives permission.
They report that the thing they were observing is spreading; it was centered in Veleno and Strano but it’s spreading to other areas too. Yang notes that it’ll become a rumor soon then. They think so too and then ask for orders. Yang tells them to leave it alone and ignore it. He’s going to let it run free until things get interesting and then decide from there. The girl laughs because this is just like Yang.
Yang heads into his room and thinks on how the wind is changing directions. Burlone has three mafia organizations that, from the beginning, had no equilibrium. It would be easy to break this stalemate but he doesn’t have the time to build things up from nothing. At any rate, even if Falzone and Visconti know the bait is poisoned they will have no choice but to eat it. The fun game can begin at last, perhaps.
Lastly, he mutters about how that “eminence” is an annoying man. THIS IS INTERESTING BECAUSE “YOUR EMINENCE” IS FOR A HIGH-RANKING NOBLE, USUALLY IN RELIGIOUS CONTEXT. BURLONE IS A RELIGIOUS STATE… HMM!!
*** PROLOGUE 02 – DAY 02 ***
Liliana wakes up, stretches after a good night’s sleep, and opens the window to breathe in the air. She has a quick meal and then heads into the church quietly so as not to interrupt anyone praying to manage a small stand with candles and an offering box. From time to time, she clears out the money and replaces the candles.
Suddenly, Jean calls out her name and tries to run over to her but he crashes into a man. Liliana immediately recognizes him as being part of the Falzone family, but when she apologizes nervously he just laughs it off and tells her not to worry; he’s happy that the kids here are energetic. Liliana makes Jean apologize before she takes him out of the church. Jean thinks that man was kind but Liliana chooses to:
- Yes, you’re right
- I think he’s kind, but…
She hesitates but ends up agreeing. Even if that man is a mafia member, he is her neighbor and they hold the same religion and pray to the same God. She’s glad that kind of person is a Falzone member. Falzone and Visconti people would probably ignore children; however, it would be another story if it was a Lao-Shu member. Although, a Lao-Shu member wouldn’t come to this church.
Anyway, Liliana reminds Jean not to run around in the church like that next time, much like how the man warned him. Then she asks why he came looking for her. Jean tells her that Elena wants to discuss the porridge soup kitchen matter with her. Liliana tells him that she’ll head to the kitchen, where Elena is, after she finishes her business in the church. Jean runs off to tell Elena this.
Then Liliana turns to go back into the church, only to crash into someone who was heading outside. His hood falls off and she sees that he has pale hair and beautiful heterochromatic eyes. The young man asks if she’s hurt but Liliana shakes her head and apologizes. She’s also embarrassed because she just warned Jean about this only to crash into someone herself. The man apologizes too because it was his fault and then asks if she can stand.
He waits until she’s stable on her feet before he removes his hand and then raises his hood to cover his particular eyes. He gives a nod to Liliana and then quickly walks off. Liliana sees him off and then realizes that she forgot to ask his name. Maybe she’ll ask him the next time she sees him, if she does, since they seem relatively close in age.
Anyway, in the afternoon, Liliana and Elena head out with the sisters, carrying packages for the soup kitchen. Liliana notices that Elena looks pale and Elena is touched, but not surprised, at Liliana’s concern, though she tried to hide it from Liliana. But they’ve always been together since childhood and so Liliana can see right through her. Elena confesses that she’s just nervous and so Liliana advises:
- Me too
- Don’t forget to smile
Liliana tells her that she’s the same because public order in Strano is bad, so it’s a little scary. Elena can’t get used to it no matter how many times they go, but she’s relieved since she’s not the only one scared and they’re going together with everyone else. Liliana doesn’t want Elena to push herself too hard though.
They head to Creta, a lively business district, to pick up some goods from the general store before they go to Strano. However, Elena suddenly points down the street. Liliana looks over to see Gilbert Redford, the next famous person in Burlone after Dante Falzone. He’s walking through the streets like he’s cutting through the wind and with a relaxed, confident smile.
A lady called Nina calls out to him and comments on how he’s walking through the streets today as well. Gilbert replies that the day doesn’t start until he sees everyone’s faces, especially Nina’s smile which is the best in the city and steals the souls of men. Nina laughs loudly because Gil is talented at compliments, but she doesn’t mind that from a handsome man like him.
Another person, Antonio, asks Gilbert if he’d like to try some amaretto (alcohol made from bitter almonds). Gilbert brightens at that but Nina scolds Antonio for inviting Gilbert to drink in the afternoon, especially since Gilbert is a busy person, unlike Antonio, since he’s the boss of the Visconti family. Gilbert’s aide clucks his tongue and agrees before reminding Gilbert that they have many things that must be done today and no time to detour. Gilbert shrugs since that’s the case and asks Antonio to invite him next time.
Liliana thinks on how Gilbert is so loved by the people it’s hard to imagine he’s a mafia leader. But she also isn’t surprised because he doesn’t throw around the power of his position and, above all, he’s very handsome. Gilbert suddenly looks over at them and greets the sisters, noting that they’re going to set up a soup kitchen. His smile is so friendly that, once again, it’s hard to believe he’s the leader of a criminal organization.
The sisters reply politely that they’re doing an important deed as people who serve God. He thanks them for their work and promises to show up if he settles his business early. They thank him for his concern.
Elena sighs in relief after he passes because meeting a mafia member makes her nervous. Liliana feels the same way though, admittedly, she doesn’t feel much fear towards Signore Redford because he’s deeply religious. Every Friday he appears at the church; she is certain he does that to avoid meeting Dante Falzone, and the same goes for Dante. There is only one church in this town and so, even if they belong to different organizations, as long as they believe in the same God then they end up heading to the same place.
In Strano, they set up the soup kitchen (funds are given to them by Falzone and Visconti) and today’s menu is zuppa di farro (farro and bean soup) and Altamura-style bread. It also comes with one torta al limone. The sisters announce the start of the soup kitchen and ask for people to line up in a single row. Elena and Liliana psych themselves up.
Strano people appear in a giant wave and start getting their portions. They thank Liliana and the sisters for all their help, because if they didn’t come then they would probably starve to death. Liliana chooses to say:
- We’ll come again
- Everyone helps each other when people are in trouble
Liliana promises that they’ll always come because the Strano people are waiting for them. The men thank her sincerely, since with this they can survive this year’s winter. Liliana thinks it’d be best if they could move out of here, but she understands the world isn’t that simple. The people living here are probably suffering more so than anyone else.
The soup kitchen concludes without any major event and the sisters prepare to return to Arca in the evening. However, Liliana notices that Elena isn’t beside her and tells the sisters that she’ll wait for Elena to catch up on this street that is right beside Veleno, the district Lao-Shu controls and a place she has been repeatedly told not to walk around alone in.
Liliana decides she’ll wait for a little while and if Elena still doesn’t show then she’ll turn back. But as she thinks this, the young man who she bumped into at the church appears and addresses her by her full name, Liliana Adornato, and says he’s come to take her away. Liliana is taken aback by how he knows her name since they didn’t introduce themselves to each other. He tells her that he knows many things about her, even things she doesn’t know.
Before anything happens though Elena comes running up to Liliana and thanks her for waiting. Her knot was too loose and along the way back her luggage spilled out so she had to quickly gather everything and tie it again. She thanks Liliana for waiting because she was scared to walk back alone and then pulls Liliana’s hand. Liliana glances back at the young man, but he’s not there anymore.
Back at the church, Liliana is thinking about the young man’s words during dinner. Sofia notices Liliana seems spaced out ever since coming back and asks if something happened. Liliana tells her about the young man she met near Veleno and his words. Elena hears about this too and apologizes because she didn’t notice the man at all, who was beside Liliana up until she appeared; she was only thinking about how they needed to hurry back.
Elena comes to a realization and teasingly asks Liliana if the man likes her. Liliana doesn’t think that was the case at all and she wonders what he was trying to say. On the other hand, Sofia has a very deep frown on her face.
At night, unbeknownst to everyone, Sofia talks to someone over the phone and tells them that this is the first time something like this has happened. It is best that they hurry. SOFIA!! TRAITOR!! I KEEP THINKING LILIANA IS A LONG LOST HEIRESS OR SOMETHING.
Meanwhile, Liliana is in the middle of her nightly prayers and she thanks God for watching over her today and letting her complete today’s work. Her prayers are interrupted by a knock on her door though and Liliana tells the person to come in, while thinking a visitor is unusual at this time in night. It turns out to be Sofia who admits she wanted to see Liliana’s face, which is a funny thing since they see each other every day. They haven’t had leisurely conversation like this in a long time.
Sofia recalls the past and how Liliana used to run to her at night during nights she couldn’t sleep. But even then, she knows Liliana was a steady girl and she always works hard. Liliana only came to Sofia when she had really scary dreams and there must have been many more nights where Sofia wished Liliana would have relied on her more. Liliana doesn’t remember that anymore, but Sofia still reminds Liliana to come talk to her if anything happens, especially in the future. An adult enjoys listening to the stories of children.
Liliana asks how long Sofia is going to treat her like a child but Sofia tells her that she will always be a child of the church, no matter her age. And this is the same as being her child. Sofia calls out Liliana’s full name and with anxious eyes reminds her again that no matter what happens Liliana is a precious family member to them. The Lord will surely – no, absolutely – protect her. Of course, she will also protect Liliana. Sofia then smiles gently and strokes Liliana’s head. FLAGS ARE BEING RAISED SO HARD RIGHT NOW.
Unsurprisingly, Liliana wonders why Sofia is suddenly saying this but she gets the feeling she shouldn’t ask. And so she doesn’t. But then, at night, she is unable to sleep and she just keeps thinking about the day’s events. She decides that maybe she hasn’t prayed enough and goes to the church at night, having the whimsical thought that it’s luxurious to monopolize the entire church. However, the young man from earlier appears and says that he came to talk, since they were interrupted last time.
First, he’ll take her away and then explain things earlier although he knows she must be confused. When he reaches out to grab her, Liliana tries to shake him off because she’s frightened at being kidnapped. In that moment, the church doors open to allow the cold night air and the moonlight reveals Dante Falzone. He warns the young man not to touch her. The young man sighs because another interruption has arrived. Dante coldly informs him that he’s aware of the movements of a rat.
Dante snaps his fingers and then Falzone members enter the church. The young man looks over them and mutters that, if Dante wanted to stop him, he should have brought his entire family, although that still wouldn’t be enough. The words are said so readily that rather than a provocation it sounds more like a fact. The man tells Liliana that he can protect her and break through these people easily. But, once again, he’s interrupted when Sofia appears and comes between them and tells the man to leave Liliana.
The man narrows his eyes and knocks Sofia down. He announces that he won’t show mercy to anyone getting in the way of his mission, even if that is a sister. He pulls out a dagger that is like a cross and raises it high but Dante interrupts by whipping out his gun and shooting at the man. All his shots are aimed at the vitals and one hit would be a fatal shot. However, the man only grimaces and, without wasting any movement, barely avoids the bullets.
But he can’t approach Liliana through the bullets. Dante orders his men to support him and then holds out a hand to Liliana, telling her to come to him in a commanding voice. Liliana hurriedly obeys and Dante pulls her into him to protect her while shooting. She can feel the gun recoil through his body.
Liliana is pulled out of the church but she pleads with him to wait because Sofia is there. Dante’s eyes are cold though as he only tells her to discern her own situation and then pushes her into a waiting black car. He gets in too and then the car immediately pulls away.
Liliana doesn’t understand what’s going on at all and she even thinks she might be having a nightmare. But the drifting scent of gunpowder smoke right beside her is frighteningly clear. She isn’t dreaming and this is reality. Whether she wants to acknowledge that or not—