|← Alice XV||Black Alice →|
|Appears in:||Chapter 3|
La Croix, formerly known as Shirome Artiste, is Promestein’s right-hand and the elder sister of Chrome. During an experiment with her sister, which resulted in a catastrophic explosion that nearly killed Shirome, she made herself into a zombie and left Chrome, where Shirome's emotions slowly faded as she tried to find a way to resurrect herself.
Drain Lab one
Promestein was teleported to the Drain Lab by Black Alice, where she is greeted by La Croix. Promestein had been asleep for a while, but Laplace healed the wounds she sustained while fighting Luka during that time. Lucia is also waiting for Promestein and inquires how Luka could be this powerful.
Promestein is glad to see the other three Seekers of Truth and recounts the events of what happened in the lab: Alice was able to find a loophole in the Six Ancestors Great Seal, but she is presently at less than one tenth of her standard power. Luka has also been deprived of the Four Spirits, but he is still powerful enough to take on Promestein. Also, Black Alice is aware of the White Rabbit drug. La Croix is disappointed to hear this, as it means it can't be monopolised. Despite this, Black Alice is still the one most in tune with White Rabbit, due to her being a direct descendant of the Dark God, Alice the 1st.
Of course, Black Alice had been aware of White Rabbit the whole time. She was just patiently waiting for it to be completed, and she now knows it is. To make it worse, Black Alice is a mere puppet of Ilias, and she informed her as well.
Promestein changes the subject to the Seekers of Truth. Each of them is a member of a different race. Angel, monster, human, and machine. She asks what it is they all have in common. La Croix wishes to master the dark arts and find the truth. Laplace doesn't have a goal, she merely obeys. But she wants to find the meaning of her existence. The truth. Lucia wishes to master the secrets of alchemy and learn the truth of the world. What they all have in common, is that they seek the truth. And anyone who also seeks the truth will join them. While those who try to stop them, will be dealt with swiftly.
After declaring that, she asks La Croix not to let anyone near the device, but La Croix has already assigned the Cirque du Croix to guard it. She asks Laplace to deal with the prisoners of war and harvest as much energy from them as possible. Lucia will return to Witch Hunt Village to have her revenge for what Lily did to her. Promestein gives her permission to, and Lucia promptly leaves.
Laplace doesn't understand why she cares so much for a deserted village in the middle of nowhere. La Croix's hometown was destroyed a long time ago, Laplace doesn't have a hometown, as Promestein created her. But Lucia is going to destroy her hometown entirely. Laplace still doesn't understand and thinks humans are irrational. But that's why Promestein likes humans.
After the fight with Chrome, Luka questions her if she has any connections to Ilias, but Chrome responds that she does not. So Luka asks why he would be researching on this scale, to begin with, and Chrome tells him it's to revive her ruined family. She reveals her full name is in fact, Chrome Artiste, the younger sister of the Artiste family. They had once served the Monster Lords for generations. They specialised in Necromancy and Spiritualism, using their skills to amuse the monster lords. But the 15th deemed them devilish and prohibited them, marking the end of their families glory. But Chrome kept on studying them in secret. All so she could one day impress the Monster Lord, and allow them studies again.
At that point, Alice wakes up and shouts at her, banning her from the Monster Lord's Castle for the next three hundred years for scaring her with Spi and Rit. But it wasn't Chrome's fault that the family was cast out. It was her elder sister, who was deemed insane by the 15th, which made her uneasy about having a mad necromancer around. But instead of helping Shirome, the 15th sent a group of monsters to assassinate her, and Shirome was never seen again.
Just as they begin to ponder on why Shirome went mad, La Croix arrives, presumably listening in the whole time. She states that there is no need to classify such things into sanity, and insanity for a Seeker of Truth. Which La Croix had told Chrome many times. If the seeker only separates the two, they will always be further away from the truth than the person who doesn't. She then takes off her Plague Doctor jacket. She announces herself as La Croix, Promestein's right hand, and a Seeker of Truth.
Chrome recognises her as Shirome, her elder sister, but La Croix responds that Shirome is no longer with us, only La Croix.
Chrome asks why she would come here, and La Croix explains that she is only here to dispose of Chrome's pathetic creations. All failures. She even sees Chrome as a failure, which upsets Chrome deeply.
Luka asks La Croix if she has sided with Ilias, but Luka already knows the answer, as she is a subordinate of Promestein, who serves Ilias. La Croix states that she doesn't care for the intention of her patron. If she is allowed to seek the truth, she doesn't care what their intentions are.
La Croix states that she isn't authorised to dispose of the three just yet, unfortunately. But that doesn't mean she can't to show them her Cirque du Croix.
Luka tries to stop her before she can, but a member of the Cirque du Croix leaves her coffin and counters Luka's own Bloody Fissure Thunder Thrust with her's. Alice recognises her, and she is revealed to be the Cursed Sword user, Fernandez, once known as the greatest elf swordswoman in the continent. Followed by Queen Scylla, who was poisoned decades ago, and the Queen Scylla position has remained vacant ever since. Followed by Queen Lamia, who was also murdered at the same time as Queen Scylla, and the Queen Lamia position has also been vacant ever since. A Mermaid pirate, who lead a legendary group of pirates, but she vanished long ago. Later on, her empty ship was found contaminated with chemical weapons. Next is Titania, a mutated fairy. She had once possessed vast magical power but went missing one day. The previous Queen Harpy, nicknamed the God of War for her fighting talent. But she too mysteriously vanished during one of her battles.
Alice realises that these legendary figures all went mysteriously missing because La Croix assassinated them. Then she remade them as zombies and showed them before Alice XV. The Artiste family was deemed mad because of this show which La Croix put on.
The final member of the Cirque du Croix is La Croix's greatest achievement, and her newest creation, whom she wanted to show to Alice the 16th personally. Alice XV. While Alice is shocked and distressed on seeing her mother like this, La Croix is in glee. She is the only person in existence ever to create a zombie out of a Monster Lord. Even Chrome is shocked by her sister's actions. Alice prepares to lunge at La Croix in anger, but Luka holds her back. Alice cannot attack her in a blind rage.
After unveiling her creations, La Croix orders them back into their coffins, as she hasn't been ordered to eliminate Luka just yet. She merely showed them to anger Alice at seeing her mother. La Croix wants them to attack her so she can collect their corpses and turn Luka and Alice into zombies.
La Croix leaves the mansion, all while Luka is holding Alice back.
Drain Lab two
Tsukuyomi has returned from Plansect Village after sustaining serious injury from Aztec Rose, delivered by Queen Alraune. She can barely speak, and her body randomly spasms. Hainuwele finds her current state amusing. Promestein notes to herself that she could potentially mass produce Aztec Rose herself, but it would take a long time to get past the natural difficulty of it destroying itself. But Tsukuyomi's damage can be repaired easily, and it was worth it for the death of Queen Alraune.
Amphisbaena also has some bad news to deliver. She was unable to assassinate Erubetie, given the short amount of time she had, and the interference of Luka and Alice. But Promestein blames it on Eden, for providing an egg to buy Amphisbaena time.
La Croix isn't concerned. All of the current damage is fixable, and the plan can still proceed as normal. But Laplace disagrees. Lucia failed to complete her task, and she has also vanished off the face of the earth. Promestein believes Lucia defected, as she was only a human, and that is a natural thing for humans. Laplace interprets this as if she lacked the power to defeat Luka as she was only human, but Promestein points out she is incorrect. As Laplace works purely on logic, she cannot fathom the complicated emotions of a human.
Promestein changes the subject. Their plan is still progressing at a reasonable rate, and White Rabbit has been tested sufficiently to advance to the clinical stage. The Seekers underestimated Black Alice, but it isn't so much of a problem anymore. Black Alice still doesn't recognise it's real value.
La Croix mentions that they will also need to keep an eye on Black Alice's troop movements. Promestein agrees that they will need to watch out for Black Alice, but they can ignore Eden.
Following that, the group disperses. Once again, Cupid was listening in the whole time and goes to deliver her findings to Eden.
Drain Lab three
Laplace questions La Croix if she is satisfied with her existence. La Croix responds that she never bothered to think about it too much. The very definition of existence is unclear. She asks Laplace if her AI is malfunctioning, as that is a strange question for Laplace's logical self. Laplace admits that while something may be malfunctioning, but she has witnessed a great many illogical things recently. La Croix doesn't specialise in the AI area, but she heard from Promestein that her A.I is similar to that of a human's thoughts. It is logical to assume that illogical thoughts wouldn't appear sooner or later.
Laplace asks why Promestein gave her this ability. To be able to think freely. An autonomous machine would be just as capable if not more capable of extracting semen from humans as one who can think freely. La Croix believes Laplace is complaining that she isn't autonomous, which Laplace is. She thinks of pointless things, like the meaning of existence, while that isn't related to her mission in any way. La Croix agrees that granting thought processing to something designed to simply designed to extract semen is odd.
She asked Promestein why she would give human thought processing to a machine designed to manage semen extraction, but she didn't answer it. La Croix thinks Promestein has a passion for humanity. At first, La Croix had assumed that she viewed humans as things to be tested and toyed with, but she has her doubts now. She had once rebelled against Ilias by giving the humans fire and was locked away in a cave for 200 years as a result.
But this still doesn't answer Laplace's question. Why give her human thoughts? La Croix doesn't know. She thinks Promestein may have given that ability to Laplace so Promestein could understand humans better. La Croix advises Laplace not to think about it too much. Promestein has her reasons for such things. La Croix is too busy with her other duties to take into consideration the meaning of existence, and it is the same for both Laplace and Lucia.
Laplace questions if Lucia is satisfied with her existence instead. She was once human, but she was turned into something different. Will she still think as a human would? Will she still be recognised as a human? La Croix states she doesn't care about such things. Laplace notices that La Croix is afraid of losing something. She loses what counts for normal human and monster emotions one piece at a time. La Croix replies that doesn't have anything to do with Laplace. But she is afraid of not being herself anymore one day, and ceasing to have a personality. Laplace questions what exactly that 'self' is. La Croix loses her patience. She is talking about philosophy with a soulless machine.
She asks Laplace to return to her regular duties. Laplace replies that she is. Throughout the conversation, she has extracted exactly 16 litres of semen. La Croix sees that her concern was unnecessary and returns to her lab.
Again, Cupid was listening in on the conversation and goes to deliver her report to Eden.
The final time La Croix is encountered is in the mansion, hidden within the Forest of Spirits.
La Croix greets Luka when he arrives in the last room of the mansion. She had expected Luka to come here first. Chrome and Alice are still lost within the labyrinth. The purpose of the trap was to separate the three, so they would have their own 'private showing'.
She unveils both Queen Harpy and Fernandez and forces Luka to fight them both at once.
After sustaining too much damage, they return to their coffins, but Titania and Queen Scylla fight in their place.
When they also sustain too much damage, they also return to their coffins. Roza and Queen Lamia take their place.
Even they are forced to return to their coffins, but La Croix releases her greatest zombie. Alice XV. It wasn't the original plan. She was to have Alice fight her mother, but this will also make an exciting performance. Hero vs. Monster Lord.
When the 15th has sustained enough damage, Alice enters the room and attacks her mother, ending the fight. She noticed Luka was rushing the fight, and knows what he was trying to do. Luka intended to defeat the 15th so Alice wouldn't have to fight her, but Alice had prepared herself for this. The 15th attacks Alice with her tail, but Alice grabs it, and directs the attack into the floor, creating a huge hole. Alice then drags the 15th down the hole with her.
Of course, La Croix finds the whole thing amusing, angering Luka. La Croix notices Luka is still here and forces the Cirque du Croix to attack him all at once. La Croix then starts to head downstairs to watch Alice and the 15th fight each other.
Luka is angered even more by this and cuts down Queen Scylla in a single blow. La Croix notices and is surprised that Luka was able to kill her in a single blow. He recounts to La Croix each of the Queen's he defeated, and they were all tough opponents. But these zombies? They are weak. He proceeds to cut down Queen Harpy, also in a single blow. The zombies have no soul, or will. La Croix took away the things which made them powerful. La Croix is worried now, and Titania attacks Luka, who he also cuts down in a single blow before she could even leave her coffin. Their emotion, heart, and soul were taken away from them. La Croix took it away and weakened them. La Croix demands the other three to attack him all at once.
Before Luka can engage them, Chrome enters. La Croix asks why she came here, and Chrome asks if her sister Shirome will ever come back. La Croix tells her the same thing she told her last time, "Shirome is dead. I am La Croix." Chrome is sad to hear this and states that it is her duty as a member of the Artiste family to kill anyone outside of their family who use their techniques. La Croix asks Chrome if she can do that. Chrome asks Luka to leave the remaining three Cirque du Croix to her. Luka has his doubts, but Chrome unveils her creations from a coffin, Frederica, Spi, and Rit
Luka then challenges La Croix. She asks Luka if he believes he can beat her. She has modelled her body to perfection. Luka gives her a lecture on how she is mad and fights her.
When Luka takes her health down to half, she looks to where Chrome is fighting. She can't believe that her creations are struggling against Chromes. Chrome states that La Croix had underestimated her, and suddenly, Spi invades Fernadez's body. La Croix sees that Spi has taken control of Fernandez's body and Fernandez attacks, Roza.
After beating her, La Croix falls back, and her bandages tear open. Beneath them, is her abdomen. But it has been stripped of seemingly any organs. Only a spine is visible. Despite remodelling her body, this shouldn't be possible. La Croix tells him again, "Shirome is dead. I am undead." She is a walking corpse.
Meanwhile, the fight with the 15th and 16th is still going on. The pairs strength has been sapped, and the fight is almost over. The 15th is about to deliver a final blow to Alice, but Alice reveals her real body and counters her attack. The 15th collapses. Alice apologises to her for making her suffer a second death. But at that moment, the 15th comes to her senses. Only temporarily. She is glad to see her daughter has grown into a fine grown adult, with her own eyes.
Meanwhile, in the room above, Luka hears that the sounds coming from below have ceased. Chrome's fight is also over. The three remaining members of the Cirque du Croix stand behind her. Chrome asks how she survived the accident. She should be dead. La Croix explains what happened:
It started with Chrome returning home. Shirome had warned her to be careful of a new Hidden drug she purchased. Shirome hadn't labelled it yet, but it is on the refrigerator shelf, and very dangerous.
Shirome notices that Chrome is in a particularly good mood because she wants to see if the enzyme she created will accelerate the growth of her flesh culture. To determine that, she will need to use black dye, which looks identical to the Hidden drug Shirome had bought. If she were to mix them together, it would result in a massive explosion. Shirome knows Chrome will mix them up, and runs to the laboratory to move the drug in case Chrome does mix them together.
When she arrives, she sees that the drug is missing from the shelf, and sees that the bottle is in Chrome's hand, dripping onto the flesh culture. She runs to Chrome and seconds later, the explosion occurs, destroying all of the equipment in the lab, also knocking Shriome and Chrome unconscious. Shirome had jumped at the moment of the blast, covering Chrome's body and protecting her from the brunt of the explosion. Chrome is fine, but Shirome can't feel her body. Beside Chrome, is the lower half of Shirome's body. Nothing is attached to her body below her chest.
While most monster would accept they were going to die; Shriome will not. Her conscious will fade due hemorrhagic shock and then enter cardiac arrest thirty seconds later. There is no treatment. Instead, Shriome summons her magical power. The same used when creating a zombie, and accomplishes something never done before. She imprinted her body's design and function into her brain and controlled it through her necromantic powers. But her body is now that of a zombie.
Back to the present, and La Croix is questioning her existence. Is she still Shirome? Or just a body with the personality and memories of someone called Shirome?
Chrome realises this is why Shirome left after the accident. La Croix had left Chrome before she woke up so she wouldn't know if she was dead or potentially still alive.
After leaving, she set down in this very mansion and turned it into her laboratory. Outside of her techniques, her thoughts and emotions began to vanish. At that rate, she would indeed become a walking corpse, so Shirome set out to find if she could bring an undead body back to life. In the process, she killed countless humans and monsters trying to locate the answer to that. It was at this point; Shirome realised she was no longer Shirome. She would never have done that if she were herself. And she never felt guilt at taking someone's life, no matter how many lives she took. She lost her guilty conscious, and Shirome became La Croix. One who would do anything to achieve her goal. No matter the consequences of that.
Shirome asks Chrome to kill her. She knows the rules. Anyone practising the Artiste arts outside of the Artiste family will be eliminated.
Chrome starts crying. La Croix asks her not to hesitate; she's already dead.
Chrome performs the spell, still crying. Shirome thanks her and her body turns into dust.
"A talented monster that was the most skilled practitioner of the Artiste family techniques. Great things were expected of her, especially in the field of necromancy. But in an accident, she turned herself into a zombie after being critically injured protecting her sister. After that, her necromantic research intensified, even going so far as to assassinate famous monsters. Due to her egregious actions, the Monster Lord banished her. On the run, she was eventually recruited by Promestein who was impressed by La Croix's knowledge of biology, surpassing even her own.
A great deal of energy is needed to maintain her undead form, requiring many men be sacrificed for their semen. As her life grew on, her research turned into an obsession with reclaiming a true, living flesh and blood body."
Necrophase: Normal attack.
Necroreim: Normal attack
Necrofaun: Normal attack.
Necrohold: Triggers bind status and leads to La Croix's Mod on the next turn. Requires Struggling with Gnome to escape.
La Croix's Mod: Binded attack that leads to a one-hit KO via instant follow-up. Follows Necrohold.
Sylph and Undine won't do much to evade, so Gnome will not only help stave off damage, but escape her bind Necrohold otherwise a one-hit KO La Croix's Mod will occur. The rest is otherwise straightforward.
If Luka falls, La Croix rapes him using her modified vagina until the point of his death.
"Having a subordinate like that... Promestein, this isn't over yet... Ah, excuse me. Don't worry about that... Sylph and Undine don't have much effect on evasion. Since her restraint moves are also a threat, you should use Gnome here. Since you won't be able to avoid any damage, you should save some SP for healing at all times. Now go, oh brave Luka. Destroy that horrible necromancer, and bring calm back."
- La Croix is French for The Cross, a symbol of Christianity. This may be a reference to her raising of the dead.
- Her costume is a reference to the plague doctors from the Renaissance era. The doctors would wear the cloak, hat, and gloves to protect themselves from infected people. They also stuffed the bird mask's beak with herbs to ventilate the air and protect themselves from breathing the plague.
- La Croix's original name, Shirome, is a play on her sister's; in Japanese 'Chrome' is pronounced "Kurome". "Kuro" means black and "Shiro" means white, which also describes the sisters' respective hair and clothing colours.
- La Croix shares her battle theme with Giganto Weapon and Laplace.
- According to Torotoro's blog, the Artiste's family Ressurection skill can increase a subject's physical abilities to 130%~150% but in exchange for the reduction of it's magical ones.