|“||How is it? How do you like your long-awaited taste of the death born of the brain you so adored?||”|
|—Sebastian Michaelis to the dying village crone|
The village crone (ババ様, Baba-sama), formally referred to as Professor Sullivan (教授サリバン, Kyōju Sariban), is a scientist and researcher working for the German military. She, along with the German government, has devised the Emerald Witch Education Project, where she uses her own daughter, Sieglinde Sullivan, as the test subject. For the project, she poses as a villager of Wolfsschlucht, whose main duties are to give advice to Sieglinde, the "Emerald Witch," and to warn outsiders not to enter the Werewolves' Forest.
The village crone was disfigured by an explosion. Thus, the village crone bears a very grotesque, unsightly, and hag-like appearance. Her body is gaunt and bony, and her black hair is long and scraggly. Her right eye is protuberant, while her left eye is marred. She has a large bump on the right side of her nose. Moreover, she is missing several teeth.
The village crone typically dons a black robe, the hood of which she keeps on her head. She wears an amulet around her neck, and carries a staff.
Before the explosion, the village crone was a youthful and prepossessing woman, who wore her hair in a bun.
The village crone is an extremely depraved and unprincipled individual. She harbors an undue obsession for creating the ultimate chemical weapon for Germany, and is even willing to exploit her own daughter in order to obtain one. She is attracted to people of exceptional intellect, such as the "genius scientist" that is Sieglinde Sullivan's father. She values her country greatly, for when the father of her child died, she mourned not simply out of affection for him, but for his brain, which she deemed an asset for Germany. Sieglinde is a similar case; the village crone prizes her predominantly because of her intellect, which she believes can be used to synthesize a powerful chemical weapon for Germany. The village crone does not love her as would an ordinary mother, as indicated through her action of cooperating with the German government to make Sieglinde the test subject of a morally questionable project called the Emerald Witch Education Project.
Thirteen years before the events of August 1889, the village crone was one of the scientists of a highly confidential German military project. The project's objective was to turn a toxic gas, believed to be impossible to mass-produce due to its hazardous nature, into a viable weapon; the gas was what is commonly known as "mustard gas." They researched intensively for a way to employ it. Then, a genius scientist managed to successfully devise a safe method to synthesize it. They celebrated the feat, and the village crone subsequently fell in love with him.
One day, an unexpected accident occurred at the mustard gas factory; the genius scientist was killed in the explosion, while the village crone was left horribly scarred. She as well as many others grieved his loss, for his brain was the "treasure of the state." While mourning at his grave, the village crone learned that she was pregnant with his child. Eventually, she gave birth to Sieglinde Sullivan. Sieglinde was a gifted child, who, at three years old, "commanded the entire alphabet," and was able to understand the synthesis of mustard gas. The village crone was overjoyed because she was convinced that the mind of the genius scientist she had fallen in love with had been reborn.
Following the discovery, the village crone negotiated with the government and organized a new project called the Emerald Witch Education Project, the purpose of which was to educate the genius Sieglinde to develop the ultimate chemical weapon. The village crone believed that to nurture a genius scientist, what was essential was an environment where Sieglinde could immerse herself in her research while maintaining her motivation. The village crone isolated Sieglinde from "distractions" such as logic, common sense, amusement, pleasure, and all other "mundane things" by having an entire village built for her. She constructed a world in which Sieglinde would willingly stay, and endowed her with an "exceptional existence" called the "Emerald Witch," and "duties" to protect villagers from the "wolfmen." Thus, "Wolfsschlucht" was established.
Emerald Witch Arc
When Reinald and Briegel enter the Werewolves' Forest to hunt, the village crone appears and shouts at them to leave, claiming that the werewolves protect the forest and that trespassers will be affected with the Witch's Curse. The pair go on, disregarding her warning, but flee from the forest when they encounter a werewolf soon after.
The night Ciel Phantomhive, Sebastian Michaelis, Baldroy, Finnian, Mey-Rin, Snake, and Tanaka first arrive at Wolfsschlucht, a villager gets attacked by a werewolf. Ciel, Sebastian, Sieglinde Sullivan, Wolfram Gelzer, the village crone, and other villagers convene. The village crone attributes the attack to the wrath of the werewolves, declaring that the werewolves are furious because Sieglinde has let outsiders, such as Ciel and Sebastian, intrude upon the Werewolves' Forest. She voices her desire to have them expelled from the place. Sieglinde argues that the villager got attacked because she did not carry her amulet, but the village crone counters that, nevertheless, the werewolves have never laid a hand on them before now. She accuses Sieglinde of protecting the outsiders and tells her not to forget how cruel outsiders were to her ancestors and how grateful they should be to the werewolves. Then, the village crone turns to Ciel, blames him for the unfortunate incident, and advises him to make himself scarce from the village before the werewolves tear him apart limb by limb. After that, she leaves while screeching.
Sometime later, at a village assembly set in the center of Wolfsschlucht, the villagers badger Sieglinde to banish the outsiders. The village crone pushes for the reason behind Sieglinde's hesitation and tells her that, instead of being infatuated with the outside world, she should be focused on quelling the werewolves' anger via perfecting the Ultimate Spell.
In the plant located on floor B4, which lies underneath the Emerald Castle, the village crone speaks to a horde of werewolves. She holds up a tiny ampoule, announcing that Sieglinde has finally accomplished her job, for a condensed form of highly concentrated miasma capable of dramatically changing the course of history is contained in the ampoule—it is the product of Sieglinde's "Ultimate Spell." Sieglinde, who is accompanied by Ciel and Sebastian, rushes out in the open and asks the village crone what she means. The werewolves quickly tend to her, and Sebastian exposes one of them as a mere human male hiding in a costume. Ciel explains to Sieglinde that the "werewolves" are simply men in disguise and that the miasma is a toxic gas to be used as a chemical weapon. Sieglinde is in disbelief when the village crone tells her that she has not perfected magic. She adds on that what Sieglinde created transcends magic because she created the most powerful toxic gas that can destroy most living things. The village crone struggles while trying to decide what to name the chemical weapon, but eventually chooses the name "SuLIN."
When Sieglinde bursts into tears, the village crone asks why she is crying, saying that she should be proud; because of her intellect and the environment she grew up in that allowed for her to concentrate on her research, Sieglinde was able to construct the ultimate chemical weapon. She states that Sieglinde is the loved one she lost on "that day," and discloses that Sieglinde is her daughter. The village crone takes out a photo of her in her youth with three other scientists and proceeds to explain her history as well as the development of the Emerald Witch Education Project. She declares that the project was successful. Sieglinde is distraught, and when Wolfram arrives, she yells at him for deceiving her, too. Ciel comments that the village crone is unmotherly, for ruining her own child's feet and threatening her to develop a weapon. Chaos ensues after Ciel shoots at the ceiling and runs away with Sieglinde.
The village crone orders the men to get Sieglinde, before one of her subordinates takes her away to safety. Down a hallway, she and her subordinate are desperately attempting to preserve data on SuLIN. She commands him to transfer the suitcase of SuLIN samples upstairs. While he heads off to do that, she gathers papers on the method of synthesis, muttering to herself that, with that, they will be able to mass-produce the toxic gas. Sebastian walks in the room, carrying the suitcase and dragging the corpse of her subordinate. The village crone panics and the toxic gas alarm blares, much to her confusion. She covers her nose when she recognizes the smell in the air as mustard gas and learns that Sebastian is exhaling it. Sebastian grabs her, asking her how the death scent created by her loved one feels. The village crone then collapses to the ground, dead.
- "Lest ye forget, Emerald Witch! Our ancestors suffered countless atrocities at the hands o' folks from the outside! Ye must never trust their ilk! Ye must never forget the grudge borne by our forebears! Ye must never forget the gratitude and awe we owe herr wolfman!"
- "Hear ye, foolish interlopers! 'Tis ye who have unleashed the fury of herr wolfman! 'Tis all your doing, swine! Yours! Swineeeeeeeeeeeeee! Get ye gone from here, posthaste! Lest ye be wanting herr wolfman to rend ye limb from liiiiiimb!"
- "Indeed, what you perfected is not magic. It is something much more wonderful! Most living, breathing creatures will fall dead at the slightest contact with the vapor of this liquid. Be proud of yourself! You have created the most powerful toxic gas ever known to man! Oh yes. I must name this chemical weapon that will make history! Sullivan. Letzt Waffe. Ideal. Nebel. The acronym is 'SLeINe.' No. 'SuLIN.' I will name it SuLIN!"
- Just moments before the village crone was killed, she was held by Sebastian Michaelis a certain way. This was foreshadowed on the cover of Chapter 88.
|Anne Drewanz • Grete Hilbard • Hilde Dickhaut • Sieglinde Sullivan • The village crone • Wolfram Gelzer|