I take no credit for this analysis. All credits goto Ma Yi Jia (●'?'●): https://meici674.lofter.com/post/1ea10181_1c7283970
The First Layer (First Half of Jack’s Banquet Story)
Count Jack who resides in the Castle looks after the vampire’s tome. The tome can convert humans into vampires. However, after a long time, Jack grew tired of people’s fear and hatred. He decided to seal the tome, put his vampire butler (Burke) to slumber, and started living in solitude.
Afterwards, the story of Crimson Bride (Perfumer)’s failed and incomplete marriage travelled into the castle. In the midst of laughing, the Count had also started thinking about changing himself, and whether it was possible to coexist with humans. The results of his thoughts were: he decided to awaken his vampire butler, and whimsically asked his butler to organize a banquet where both humans and vampires can participate in peacefully. At the same time, he specially unsealed the tome to let it witness history.
[missing: Burke 1]
The butler was surprised by the count’s decision, but prepared the banquet as promised. However, because humans had feared the vampires for such a long time, nobody attended the commencement of the banquet. After seeing his disappointed host, the furious butler threatened a village to surrender individuals to participate in the banquet.
[missing: Burke 3]
The news of the banquet travelled to villages surrounding the castle, and to the ears of the nun (Reservist) and the Experienced Huntsman. The nun tipped the church off so that she could investigate the situation, thereafter she took the initiative to enter the castle. Meanwhile, the Experienced Huntsman – considered to be strong and a pariah of the village – was chosen by the villagers to attend the banquet in the castle.
[1 – Upon Receiving the Invitation, the Villagers Were Gripped with Fear.]
The villagers were both afraid to answer the invitation and unwilling to flee their farms, so a scapegoat was chosen to represent them at the castle.
The Huntsman stood on the mountainside, watching the villagers trembling while knocking on his door, yet remaining undisturbed. He knew that ultimately, everyone would choose him, not because of his power, but because of his loneliness.
With the cry of a falcon, he stepped through the gates of the castle.
The Second Layer (Later Half of Jack’s Banquet Story)
The moment the Reservist arrived at the castle was the same moment she was enchanted by the tome. After noticing the evil book, her imaginations started to run wild, and believed that the Count must have hidden motivations for organizing the banquet.
The visiting guests were extremely boisterous, attracting the attention of the Lady in the Mirror. She was very annoyed by the arrival of this group of guests, believing that the castle and the vampire’s bloodlines have been insulted.
[1 – Who Dares Disturb the Lady in the Mirror?]
The bloodline never used the mirror for introspection, therefore, the Lady in the Mirror has always been isolated from the ancient mirror world.
During her spare time, the Lady in the Mirror would often observe village life through the ancient mirror. Through the broken mirror, she watched villagers work in the same dry field every day, eat at the same table, and even sleep at the same hour… And this was their entire world. Even then, it was better than living in a stagnated old castle.
The lady in the Mirror was disgusted with the ordinariness and hopelessness of her surroundings and began to dream of a different life.
[2 – A Strange Figure in the Ancient Mirror]
Has the once-mighty Bloodline fallen so far as to allow their prey to sit on equal footing?
Look at these uneducated people! Self-proclaimed "guests" are devoid of manners, behaving like fools in front of the Lady's mirror. The sight of those ugly and shabby reflections in the mirror was the last straw.
What's even more ridiculous was that the arrogant Count stood by and did nothing, and instead, was trying his best to change the world's view and seek their approval with a banquet. It appears the fears of his clan was not unfounded.
(We can guess from here that Jack’s banquet is organized on a whim, which is why the Lady in the Mirror who is trapped in the castle was not even aware of this event taking place. And here the lady mentions “his kin”, who probably refers to the elder vampire, Bloody Sword Joseph)
However, when she unintentionally overheard the argument between the Experienced Huntsman and the Reservist, she noticed that the Reservist’s thoughts had already been deluded by the tome. The results of this situation might just surprise. Meanwhile, the Experienced Huntsman knew that the Church had captured them as rations in order to control the vampires, so he did not fully trust the church. The Reservist attempted to convince him to challenge the Count together, but the Experienced Huntsman was undecided. After his interactions with the Count, his thoughts were swayed, believing that the Count did not hold any malicious intents, and that the banquet was genuinely for them to get along peacefully. As a result, he rejected the Reservist’s proposal.
[2 – Before the Banquet, the Huntsman Meets the Reservist in the Village.]
The Huntsman knows that the Reservist is the eyes of the church. The church was secretly controlling the village, restricting the villagers' actions and feeding them as food for the Count. He even heard rumors from travellers that the village had become a source of infection for the Bloodline.
The Huntsman tried to persuade the villagers to find a way out, but his efforts were repaid with disdain and isolation. The timid and ignorant villagers have long been abandoned by the church, and he was seen as an outcast of the village.
[3 – In Order to Protect, One Must First Destroy?]
The Reservist proposed to disrupt the banquet with the Huntsman. When the Huntsman questioned her reasons, she avoided answering and instead insisted that there must be a plot underfoot at the Count's banquet.
The Huntsman had witnessed the demeanour and sincerity of the castle master, and even through War Falcon's feral instincts, he could not detect an ounce of hostility. Eventually, what started out as fear turned into rumors of trepidation.
Perhaps the real source of conflict was not the good or evil between races, but the prejudices against one another. Eliminating prejudice can never be achieved with destruction.
Realizing that the Experienced Huntsman was not interested in helping her, she decided to look for the Church for support. Because (it will be explained how later) the Lady in the Mirror and the Church also had connections, the Reservist took the initiative to contact her and requested her support to transmit messages to Nidhogg. The butler noticed the suspicious actions of the lady, so he invited her to attend the banquet for the purpose of monitoring her every move. The Lady in the Mirror agreed with the Reservist’s proposal, and instigated her to attack the Butler, to steal the cellar’s key and get the tome. The lady had noticed this was a brand-new opportunity, so she devoted herself to the cause, making the situation even more chaotic.
[4 – There are Always Unwelcomed Guests at a Banquet.]
What a sly old man! He noticed the change in the Lady in the Mirror and graciously invited her to the banquet. In fact, he only wanted to subdue her.
But the once eccentric and surly Count was now letting her come and go as she pleased. The Lady in the Mirror felt more and more confused by the master of the castle; in order to protect his Bloodline, he had given up his freedom. Now he's even hiding his fangs and wings, giving up his identity for this meaningless banquet.
How foolish the Count, and yet, how envious she was! What he had given up was the freedom and power that she had longed for but could not obtain in her mirror world!
[5 – New Opportunities Arisen in Chaos.]
The reservist has gone off the beaten path and is even targeting the Lady in the Mirror.
Perhaps she never understood the real purpose of the Lady's existence in the castle. The mirror world is interconnected, and the eyes that look into it are also being watched by others. A request made in front of a mirror can always be heard by someone with an ulterior motive.
But, there's no harm in making the situation a little more interesting. However, what is about to happen at the banquet will definitely not stay buried.
Executive Officer Nidhogg was in the midst of hunting Crimson Bride, but rushed to the banquet after receiving the message from the lady in the mirror. She realized that the Reservist and the demon spirit in the mirror had connections, and that the village was rife with rumours of the church, so she made up her mind to silence the Reservist and the busybodies in the village after the situation had ended.
[1 – A New Directive Means Abandoning the Previous Goal.]
Let the unclean bride live a few days in repentance. The once bloodthirsty Count had unusual actions, and the church could not ignore the fact.
Surrounded by the village, the old castle seemed calm, but it was always at the center of events. The originally devout Reservist did not understand what she was getting herself into. Not only was the message delivered through normal means, she even delivered it through an unorthodox manner through the mirror.
[2 – The Lion, the Lamb, and the Shotgun.]
What a joke. Is the lamb now eating at the same table as the lion?
In the face of the absent-minded Reservist and the confused Huntsman, the Executor believed that the corruption of the mind by the Bloodline no longer required physical transformation. In order to avoid further contamination, she must destroy the banquet and erase all evidence. The scandal of the Reservist and the rumors of the village will be completely buried. Cowards will choose to cower and compromise, but she never will.
Meanwhile, the Huntsman received information from Nidhogg that the entire church would arrive at the castle. Realizing that the Church could cause harm to the nearby villagers, he pondered for a long time before deciding to side with the Count.
[4 – The Last Guest, and the Worst Nightmare.]
The Reservist was right. The banquet has brought danger to the village, but the threat came from the church! Church reinforcements arrived at the castle threatening to destroy the entire village to coerce the Huntsman into fighting the Count.
The Huntsman has absolutely no interest in the powers of the mysterious Tome or the plots of the Bloodline. But, letting the villagers down was the hardest thing to accept as an outcast.
After a lifetime's journey, the War Falcon's eyes had become dull and even the most experienced Huntsman found it difficult to distinguish between friend and foe.
The banquet was about to commence, but the Reservist had surprised Nidhogg; under the instigation of the lady in the mirror, the Reservist suddenly attacked the Butler, stunning him and stealing the key to the cellar.
[missing: Ench 5, Burke 5]
After stealing the tome in the cellar, the actions of the Reservist succeeded in disturbing the Count. In his rage, the Count revealed his historically known ferocious and terrifying face. The executive officer had grasped this opportunity to fire a shot to kill this monster.
[3 – Deadly Shooters Only Need One Lucky Break.]
The duel had yet to begin, and the Reservist had already confronted the Butler. The Executor paid no attention to it. No matter the disruption of the banquet or the theft of the Tome, either was enough to bring forth the Count's fury.
This was the best chance!
She would send the bullet into that cold heart that had stopped beating – If it weren't for that damned Huntsman, everything would be over by now.
Yet the war owl of the Huntsman suddenly rushed out, using its feathers to deflect the bullet, causing the bullet to hit the tome hidden by the Reservist. Once hit, the tome released its energy, read the obsessions of those present in the room, and erased them all. The grand banquet became a pure and ordinary banquet.
[5 – Guest Etiquette is to Respect the Master's Wishes.]
The moment the Church's reinforcements confronted the Count, the Huntsman made his choice – and his War Falcon deflected the deadly silver bullet.
Between the Count, the Church, and the village; he chose his own path; without hurting anyone and without abandoning hope.
The one who can best understand loneliness is another lonely soul. Someone will always bridge the gap and take a brave step forward.
[4 – An Unexpected Ending…?]
A silver bullet blessed with holy water's faith was more than enough to penetrate the Bloodline's body. But, it was deflected by the falcon's feathers and struck the Tome hidden by the reservist!
The words of the Tome poured forth from its pages with the obsession of everyone's hearts. Everyone was shocked by the frenzy of emotions, leaving the mind blank and scattering thoughts…
After that, no one could tell how the banquet would end.
[5 – The End of the Castle Banquet]
The true power of the Tome lied in understanding the reasons for obsessions and eliminating them. This precious book was used to unite the Bloodline, but it could also serve as a gospel for the church.
However, on that night, the Tome did not become a tool for either side, but allowed a banquet to return to its original purity. In that moment, everyone forgot their identities and put down their prejudices, not caring why they were there or where anyone else had come from. It was time to simply let go and enjoy a Halloween banquet in a mysterious castle.
No one noticed after the banquet that the Tome and the Count had both disappeared.
After the banquet, no one knew where the Count and the Huntsman went.
From S9 Essence 1, we can learn that: after losing her objectives, Nidhogg let the Count and the Huntsman go, becoming Desperado.
The Count turned into Lost Soul, leaving the Banquet Cup behind (combined with the information written under the skin “Flavourful Spirits”, he probably went with the Butler to find his good friend, and started to live a secluded life without sucking blood). The Huntsman was nowhere to be seen, as was the tome.
(If drinking wine affects a bloodthirsty body, it may explain why the Count’s appearance had changed, although the author Ma Yi Jia personally believes that the Count is disguising himself so no one can find him)
The Reservist that was wielding the Tome also became a part of the vampires, completely departing from the church.
Here we will supplement some information regarding the Reservist’s skin:
The Reservist’s skin is basically confirmed to be from an alternate era, so we cannot base solely on it to determine the background of the entire story. All we can say is it leans closer to modern times.
More interestingly, the waist contains a silver pendant used for killing vampires, the neck contains a spiked collar, and there are blood stains around the eyes. Combined with Nidhogg’s description, she is a devout believer, and the Reservist skin states that:
She may be a church fanatic and also practised monasticism, otherwise more commonly known as an ascetic.
[Original link https://baike.baidu.com/item/东正教隐修制度]
So the Reservist may have been dispatched – out of her devotion to the church (and not because of betrayal or her mistakes) – to this small village to monitor the vampire’s every moves, while living a simple and austere life.