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The Black Serpent is a major antagonist in the 2014 Japanese dark fantasy light novel series Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World, as well as a mentioned one in its anime television series and manga adaptations of the same name. Thus far, it has only been featured as an unseen flashback antagonist in the fourth story arc. That being said, the power of its poison played an intricate role in the Re:Zero Prequel: The Frozen Bond light novel, as well as its manga & anime original video animation adaptations.
The Black Serpent was an incredibly powerful mabeast created by Daphne, the Witch of Gluttony, during the time when the Witch of Envy was free to wander the world. Alongside the White Whale and the Great Rabbit, the Serpent was considered one of the Three Great Mabeasts created by Daphne. Unlike the Whale and the Rabbit, the Black Serpent was completely uncontrollable, obeying no authority as it moved from place to place.
One hundred years ago, the Black Serpent accompanied the Witch of Vainglory Pandora and the Sin Archbishop of Greed Regulus Corneas when they attacked the Elven Village in Elior Forest. In the aftermath of the attack, some of the Serpent's poisonous ooze was left behind, frozen in ice.
Ninety-three years later, the Great Spirit of Fire Melaquera de-frosted the ooze. Melakuera wanted the ooze to attack the silver-haired half-elf Emilia so he could observe her true strength for himself. As he'd hoped, the sentient ooze attacked and nearly killed Emilia, only to be completely destroyed by an explosion of ice magic from the girl.
Appearance & Behaviour
Little is known of the Black Serpent's physical appearance as it often stalked its prey from the shadows and very few of its targets ever escaped. That being said, it can be ascertained from its name that its hide was black and it was serpent-like in nature. It was gigantic in size and like ordinary snakes, it had a forked tongue.
Unlike the White Whale and the Great Rabbit, the Black Serpent was, by nature, completely uncontrollable. It was a hunter whose only impulse was to reap death. The Serpent was a perceptive predator that knew it was better to strike from the shadows and knew to attack a confused opponent rather than an emotionally collected one. It could hide its gigantic presence surprisingly well and was capable of attacking without the enemy being able to discern which direction it was coming from by using its long tongue like a projectile.
Over four hundred years ago, the Witch of Gluttony Daphne sought to wipe starvation from the world. To do so, she created magical creatures called mabeasts that would feed off of magical energy. The idea was that, as the creatures fed off of magical energy and not a physical food source, they could serve as a infinity renewable food source for the people of the world. Of these beasts, there were three that were far superior to all others—the White Whale, the Great Rabbit, and the Black Serpent.
Unfortunately, the mabeasts created by Daphne went out of control and began consuming living beings (as they were typically rich in magical energy). The Black Serpent was no exception to this, as it went from place to place devouring any living creature it came across whilst leaving toxic inhospitable land behind in its wake. Unlike the White Whale and the Great Rabbit, the Black Serpent was almost completely uncontrollable. The only power that was capable of influencing the Serpent's decisions on any level was the Authority of Vainglory.
Attack on Elior Forest
|“||Th-The Black Serpent? The crucible of disease... The plague-bearing mabeast?||„|
|~ Archi dreadfully lamenting the unexpected arrival of the Serpent.|
Some three centuries after its creation, the Black Serpent was manipulated by the Witch of Vanity Pandora into assaulting a peaceful elven village that rested within Elior Forest. She was able to indirectly effect the Serpent's behavior by using her Authority of Vanity that allowed her to manipulate phenomena, meaning she could alter reality so that the Serpent's direction of attack was in line with her wish. Pandora and the Sin Archbishop of Greed Regulus Corneas, who both had business in the forest, confronted their own targets while the Black Serpent slithered its way through the village.
Eventually, it came across a trio of people attempting to flee the forest. Before they noticed it, the Serpent struck one of the three with its tongue, infecting the old man with numerous diseases. The old man, who was a "finger" of Petelgeuse Romanée-Conti, began agonizingly degrading into a putrid pile of ooze. The Serpent, staying in the shadows, turned its focus to the other two people—an elven warrior named Archi Elior and a young child called Emilia. As Archi ran with Emilia in his arms, the Black Serpent struck his leg with its tongue. To avoid the spread of the disease, Archi used wind magic to slice his own leg off and water magic to cauterize the wound.
However, the infection continued to slowly creep up his body. Wary of the impending end, Archi told Emilia to run, which she reluctantly did. Archi propped himself up with a burning sense of determination, a display of willpower that stoked the Serpent's interest. With that, the Serpent hissed as it descended upon the helpless elven warrior who smiled in the face of his impending demise. Shortly thereafter, Emilia, in a state of emotional turmoil, froze the entire forest including herself. In the process, large quantities of the Black Serpent's poison was left encased in ice within the forest, although the mabeast itself was unhindered and continued its rampage across the world.
|“||Emilia: It was very strange water. It completely dissolved a mabeast in the forest.
Puck: Black water? No, it's venom from the Black Serpent.
Emilia: This is just a tiny bit of it, it was actually a lot bigger than that.
Puck: I hate to say this but you probably didn't finish it off. Pretty sure it's still alive. Of course, I won't let it get away with this though. It seems to be fairly persistent, anything less than this isn't too likely to take it down.
|~ Puck explaining the Serpent's venom as he destroyed a part of it with his magic.|
Ninety-three years after the Serpent's assault on the Elven Village, massive amounts of the Serpent's sentient black poisonous liquid still remained frozen in the Forest. Melaquera, the Great Spirit of Fire,
de-frosted the ice to further his own plans. Melaquera had a prejudice-based fear of silver-haired half-elves, and had recently noticed the existence of Emilia, a young woman who matched that description. Wanting to witness the power of Emilia to gauge her threat-level, Melaquera hoped the sentient ooze would force her to reveal her true strength.
One day, while on a walk in the snowy woods, Emilia bore witness to the Black Serpent's poison for the first time. A small part of the poison had come across a guiltylaw, a particularly ferocious species of mabeast. The guiltylaw swung its paw at the ooze, hoping to obliterate its assailant. However, considering the poison was a liquid, it merely engulfed the guiltylaw and devoured it in a matter of seconds. The poison turned its attention to Emilia, who began fleeing from the ooze's deadly touch. The half-elf drew the ooze into a small ravine where she used spirit magic to freeze the poison, immobilizing it.
Emilia brought a fragment of the immobilized ooze back to her home where she showed it to the Beast of the End Puck. Puck explained to Emilia that the liquid was the poison of the Black Serpent, and that, although it had been frozen, it was not dead yet. Just as Puck said this, the fragment of liquid cracked through the ice and made a beeline for Emilia. Before it could reach her, Puck used his own magic to once again freeze the liquid. He then used his magic to utterly obliterate the ooze, ensuring that the particular fragment Emilia had brought back was permanently dead.
|“||The forest has been contaminated by the Black Serpent. What if their bodies are corroded by disease, even if the frozen soil thaws? What if none of the land your people owned for generations remains?||„|
|~ Echidna theorising the lasting damage the Serpent's forest poison had on Elior Forest.|
Either before or after the emergence of the residue in Elior, the Black Serpent was active in the Kingdom of Lugunica, a nation that was protected by the Holy Dragon Volcanica. The Kingdom possessed an object given to them by Volcanica called the Dragonstone that foretold future events. Thanks to the divinations provided by the stone, Lugunica was able to make preparations for the Serpent's numerous onslaughts and therefore minimalize the damage wrought. Seven years after the Elior residue, Miklotov McMahon spoke about the Black Serpent during the Royal Selection opening ceremony. McMahon cited the numerous incursions made by the mabeast in recent years as helpful divinations made by the Dragonstone.
Weeks after the Royal Selection ceremony, the Japanese teenage boy Subaru Natsuki was attacked and devoured by the Great Rabbit. Natsuki had an ability called "Return by Death" that rewound time every time he was killed, meaning he returned to four days before his demise. Hoping to learn more about his opponent, Natsuki consulted the Witch of Greed Echidna. Echidna revealed that the Great Rabbit was one of the Three Great Mabeasts created by Daphne four centuries ago, mentioning the White Whale and the Black Serpent as the other two.
Around the same time, Emilia entered the Tomb of Echidna to complete a set of three trials based around the past, present, and future. During the trial of the past, Emilia rediscovered the memories that had been erased by Pandora during the attack on the forest. Through visions sculpted from her lost memories, Emilia witnessed the Serpent attacking and killing Archi. After finishing the trial, Emilia discussed her desire to thaw the land and people she had frozen, although Echidna who was overseeing the trial raised the possibility that everything may've been contaminated by the crucible of disease.
Powers & Abilities
As one of the Three Great Mabeasts, the Black Serpent possessed an incredible amount of power that eclipsed every other mabeast with the exception of the Whale and the Rabbit. The Serpent had lived for at least four-hundred years, meaning it possessed either eternal life or an incredibly long life span.
The Serpent was capable of secreting a potent poison which took the form of a black ooze-like liquid. The poison was capable of semi-sentience, as it moved on its own and attempted to devour any living creatures it came across even when its creator was not present. The liquid was incredibly durable, as blunt-force attacks had no effect on the poison. The poison was potent enough to completely erode a powerful mabeast in seconds.
List of Appearances
Ex Volume 1
- Roy Alphard, one of the three Sin Archbishops of Gluttony, was named after the star of the same name. To the Arabs, the star Alphard was sometimes known as the "backbone of the serpent." Furthermore, the star belongs in the constellation of Hydra, the name of a serpentine water monster in Greek mythology. The other two Archbishops of Gluttony, Lye Batenkaitos & Louis Arneb, were named after stars which had names meaning "sea monster" and "hare" respectively. In this way, Roy represented the Black Serpent, Lye represented the White Whale, and Louis represented the Great Rabbit.
- Of the Three Great Mabeasts, the Black Serpent was the last one to appear within the confines of the story and the only one yet to appear in the present day story. Subsequently, it is also the only one that still roams the world freely.
|Capella Emerada Lugunica · Louis Arneb · Lye Batenkaitos · Pandora · Petelgeuse Romanée-Conti · Regulus Corneas · Roy Alphard · Sirius · Stride Volakia|
|Witches of Sin|
|Carmilla · Daphne · Echidna · Hector · Minerva · Pandora · Satella · Sekhmet · Typhon|
|Black Serpent · Great Rabbit · White Whale|
|Gusteko Assassin Organization|
|Elsa Granhiert · Mama · Meili Portroute|
|Balleroy Temeglyph · Bean Argyle · Heinkel Astrea · Kurgan · Melaquera · Miles · Reid Astrea · Roswaal Mathers · Sphinx · Ton, Chin, and Kan|