- "Before long might I take a vacation?"
- ―Carlos Marlon[src]
Carlos Marlon, later taking the name Josef Crim, was the Third Prince of the Kingdom of Marlon and a cook for Banica Conchita. Engaged to Banica as a child, the marriage was canceled due to Banica's terrifying behavior. Having grown attached to his former fiancée, Carlos impersonated a famed cook in an attempt to steal Banica's red wine glass for AB-CIR. While serving as her chef, the prince satiated the Duke's appetite, only to be trapped by her gluttonous will.
Born in EC 296 in the Kingdom of Marlon, Carlos was the Third Prince of the Marlon Royal Family and the son of King Charon Marlon and Queen Milkicent Marlon. Due to his weak constitution, he was often sickly and unable to excel academically, carry out public duties, be trained in swordplay, or even play with other children. As such, and being third in line for the throne, he was typically ignored by his peers and passed over by others in favor of his older brothers, as well as neglected by his family.
In order to cure his physical condition, Carlos would regularly take a medicine passed down through his family, consisting of key shavings from the magical family heirloom Grim the End and the ink of the rare Ziz Tiama, the recipe of which the royal family had learned from a shaman living in the Millennium Tree Forest. As he grew up, he heard stories from his father about how Grim the End had been used by his ancestor Karchess Crim to kill the demonic Duke Sateriasis Venomania.
In June of EC 311, Carlos was engaged to Banica Conchita of the Beelzenian Empire. After learning of the news, Carlos argued in vain with his father over the matter, frustrated to be married so suddenly and to a noble family that had previously been disgraced. After a lengthy argument in the audience room of the palace, he begrudgingly accepted the news after he was threatened with being disowned. The next day, in the company of his parents, Carlos was introduced to Banica by her head retainer Ron Grapple and behaved sullenly during the meeting.
After Banica and her entourage, including her young servants Arte and Pollo, had departed, Carlos complained about her corpulent appearance. As he also argued with his father about how insulting it was that the Conchita Family had come to greet them with only three servants, and without the family head himself making the trip, Carlos was interrupted by Ron Grapple reentering the room, having overheard. Carlos then listened, surprised, as Ron explained the circumstances of the Conchitas' disgrace being due to an awful disease, the man claiming that Conchita's corpulent appearance was also a result of that disease. Learning of her lonely background because of this illness, Carlos began to empathize with Banica's plight.
After discussing the matter further with Ron, the prince decided to show Banica around Bariti. The next day, Carlos took Banica to the capital city with their various retainers, where they talked about Banica's impressions of the city, and Carlos spoke passionately about the war going on between Marlon and Lioness. As he shared his dream of Marlon unifying, he learned about Banica's dream to travel the world and sample the world's cuisine. Afterwards, the two went to have dinner; during the meal, in which Carlos' parents weren't present, the prince was impressed by Banica's expertise in food when she greatly improved his soup with just a drop of Jakoku sauce.
As the months passed, Carlos warmed up to the idea of marriage to Banica and even entertained ideas of traveling the mainland with her like she'd dreamed about. In February 312, Carlos attended a dinner celebrating his engagement with Banica being made official, although barely paying attention to the talks about the marriage being carried out by his parents and Beelzenia's Empress Juno Beelzenia in favor of thinking about his soup.
While eating with his fiancée, Carlos noticed when she became preoccupied by the personal effects of a captured mage that his brother Cult's soldier had brought to the table, among them a red wine glass. After the meal was over, Carlos was then horrified when the traumatized Banica, becoming fixated on the meal's leftovers, began violently eating everything in sight. Not long after, the engagement was canceled and Carlos was separated from Banica when she returned to Beelzenia.
Service to Conchita
- "As I'd expect of the nomad chef, Josef. Such superb skill ♥"
- ―Banica remarking on Carlos' cooking[src]
As time went on, Carlos heard about Banica's culinary exploits and later learned that she had become reinstated as one of the Five Dukes. Desiring to be a bit closer to her, Carlos studied cooking under one of the palace chefs, gaining a degree of skill.
Around EC 324, Carlos was captured by AB-CIR and imprisoned by the mage's master, Lord Somi Hedgehog, in the dungeon at Castle Hedgehog. While there, Carlos overheard the mage and Platonic discuss the latter's failure to retrieve a red wine glass from Banica due to the twin servants and undead soldiers. Alarmed by their rumors that Banica had gone mad, Carlos called out to them, volunteering as a spy to help retrieve the glass. Having already killed the famous cook, AB-CIR planned for Carlos to impersonate Josef Crim with the Venom Sword. With the blade swiped at his face, Carlos passed out.
Awakening under Platonic's care, Carlos was shown that his appearance had been changed, reassured that it wasn't permanent and warned that it made AB-CIR able to track him down and kill him should he try to run away. So disguised, Carlos was soon hired on as Conchita's chef, cooking meals for his former fiancée in her mansion. Though inwardly disturbed by what he had to serve her, Carlos continued his duties without complaint whilst slowly learning how to cook, although often subject to scorn from Arte and Pollo. When not working, Carlos spent his time at the local pub at the foot of the mountain.
On one occasion, Banica spoke to Carlos while she was having lunch, explaining how she had been seeking him out during her travels; upon returning to the kitchen, Carlos took some of his childhood medicine to quell a coughing fit, as his illness had been returning under the stress. Eventually Carlos became used to Banica's perverse appetite, although run ragged by the workload of making her meals; seeing traces of her old enthusiasm for food and stunned by her new appearance, Carlos found himself happy to have reunited with her despite the circumstances.
As time passed, Banica continued to ignore imperial messengers summoning her to speak with Empress Juno; on one occasion, Carlos discussed the matter with Arte while Banica and Pollo were in a meeting with more messengers; as Arte responded coldly to him, Carlos questioned her on why she and her brother hated him so much. He learned that it was because he had the same face as a man named "Adam", allegedly Arte and Pollo's adoptive father, who abandoned the twins in a forest long ago.
Love and Death
- "...Maybe now is the time to change."
- ―Carlos before his final supper with Banica[src]
On another day, Carlos was preparing a meal for Banica when he noticed that the wine stock had run out. When he went to the larder to fetch a bottle, he found Banica there slightly drunk. With Arte and Pollo out, Carlos brought her to her bedroom and prepared to let her sleep off the wine; as he tried to leave, however, Banica implored him to stay, revealing in the process that she knew his former identity. Touched, Carlos gave in to her entreaties and spent the night with her. The next morning he awoke before Banica and headed to the kitchen, making breakfast in the company of Arte and Pollo.
Several months later, Carlos woke to Pollo arguing with another imperial messenger; spotting an escort of twenty Beelzenian soldiers outside, the concerned Carlos walked in on the confrontation and found that Pollo had murdered the messenger. As Banica arrived on the scene, Carlos frantically tried to reason with her, only to watch in horror as Banica summoned a horde of undead soldiers made out of her late household to deal with the military escort. As the stricken Carlos questioned Banica, he learned that she planned to devour the entire world and everything in it, and watched in horror as she laughed maniacally among the screams of the Beelzenian soldiers and groans of the undead.
Terrified of what Banica had become and of the repercussions of her deeds, Carlos attempted to escape the mansion, only to be caught by the undead soldiers that surrounded the estate. Dragged back before Banica by Arte and Pollo, Carlos meekly asked if he could take a vacation; although insulted, Banica decided to keep him in her employ and not punish him, though forbidding him from leaving the estate. Carlos continually fretted about his circumstances and bemoaned what had happened to Banica, as well as his own failure to help the situation.
As he was making soup for Banica's dinner on another day, Carlos ruminated again on his situation and resolved to save Banica and end her apostasy. Recalling how the Golden Key was capable of killing Duke Venomania, he conspired to use its shavings as a poison to kill both Banica and himself, mixing what he had left of it into two servings of the soup. He brought the soup to Banica and suggested that they eat together. As the two of them ate, he explained how he had poisoned the soup and intended for them to die together, watching as Banica was affected by the poison. Despite this, she quickly recovered, seemingly unharmed by the shavings after all; his plan a failure, Carlos soon perished from the poison.
Sometime around EC 1000, Carlos escaped Banica's stomach and was given a new body. Soon after, he accompanied Banica, Arte, Pollo, Ron, Lich, Eater and Seth Twiright to a parallel world as part of the Graveyard Ending.
Following his death, the betrayed Banica ordered Arte and Pollo to cook Carlos as another one of her meals and gleefully devoured him, enamored with the taste of his different body parts. Because of the amount of golden powder he had eaten over the years, Carlos' remains and the poison he gave Banica weakened the Demon of Gluttony tremendously, leaving it helpless to prevent Banica from devouring herself.
By the time of his death, Josef was rumored to be a blood relative of the Marlon Royal Family, although there was no proof to connect him to Carlos. When Elluka Clockworker and Platonic entered Banica's mansion as part of the Beelzenian Empire's investigation into rumors of her cannibalism, they discovered her home to be empty. Finding everything in perfect order, the Empire concluded Josef and the rest of the staff fled with Banica to a neighboring country and ended the investigation. The son he sired with Banica was later given to a servant of the Beelzenian Imperial Family and eventually descended to the famed Germaine Avadonia.
Personality and Traits
- "So in other words you’re saying that this is something you pushed ahead on your own without consulting me about it? I can’t stand that!"
- ―Carlos to his father[src]
Carlos was a prince embittered by his lonely childhood. Due to his weak condition and neglect from his parents, Carlos grew up sullen, quiet, and frustrated with his lot in life. As such, he acted coldhearted towards others and regularly fought with his parents. Carlos additionally behaved arrogantly as a prince, looking down on others of low status, as well as being insulted when he believed he or his family were not being given the respect due to them. His arrogance lessened as he grew. Working as a chef, Carlos was humble enough in his cooking skills to be patient with Banica's tastes in a way her other chefs could not, and frequented the local tavern while in service to Banica to socialize despite not drinking alcohol.
Despite his cold exterior, Carlos easily empathized with those who had suffered and cared about things deeply. Learning of Banica's tragic background and appreciating her enthusiasm for her interests, Carlos softened his attitude towards her and even came to love her, and he similarly was sympathetic to Arte for her and Pollo's abandonment. As a prince of Marlon, he was passionate about seeing the mainland united and the suffering of their civil war brought to an end. He also recognized that nobility and royalty had the privileges to lead comfortable lives that commoners and peasants could not. Working as Banica's chef, Carlos was regularly horrified by her callous indifference to the suffering of her people and especially with her murderous apostasy, as well as alarmed by her demonic magic.
Carlos' feelings were contrasted with what he saw as his own cowardice. Feeling powerless since childhood, Carlos rarely had the courage to oppose others, ultimately buckling to his parents' will in everything and taking little effort to improve himself as he grew up. He similarly behaved meekly as Banica's chef and served her meals without complaint despite how disgusted he was with them. Additionally, Carlos tried to ignore the depth of what Banica had become until undeniably faced with it, and briefly attempted to run away altogether. Disgusted with himself, Carlos viewed himself as having constantly run away and being at fault for Banica's demonic transformation, this ultimately motivating him to take responsibility for it by trying to kill her and himself.
Skills and Abilities
- "Ingredients are a dime a dozen, but it’s hard to find a cook who can prepare them well."
Since the time he was born, Carlos had poor health and was prone to spasms and coughing fits from an unknown ailment; due to this, he was unable to train in swordplay or undertake any other physical activities. Additionally he was far surpassed by his brothers in education, social skill, and political presence. After regularly ingesting his family's medicine, Carlos' physical ailments all but vanished as he grew up, although when stressed enough his symptoms started to reappear. Thanks to the shavings from Grim the End present in his medicine, residual Wrath magic had built up in Carlos' body over the years which severely weakened the Demon of Gluttony once he was ingested.
As he grew up, Carlos attempted to study cooking to some degree and gained a slight amount of skill; because he was not a professional chef, however, he could not make food good enough to tempt others to eat it. Conversely, as a chef his meals were more than satisfactory for Banica's unusual tastes, although he continued to do poorly in any other task asked of him.
Banica Conchita: Carlos' fiancée and later employer. Although initially resentful of being arranged to be wed to the fat Banica, Carlos quickly connected to her on the basis of her overcoming her tragic childhood and was impressed by her passion for food, coming to care about her even after the engagement was broken off. He later came to love Banica during their time together, fathering a child with her. Despite this, he grew terrified of the monster she had become and wished to put an end to their sordid affair by taking her life and his own.
AB-CIR: A mage whom Carlos encounters. While Carlos had been coerced to follow AB-CIR's instructions to infiltrate the Conchita estate, the prince did not feel any lasting loyalty to the mage or his objectives after falling in love with Banica.
Josef Crim: A famous cook of the Evillious region Carlos attempted to pass himself off as. As the chef had been murdered sometime beforehand, Carlos infiltrated the Conchita Mansion using his name.
Pollo: A fellow employee of Conchita. Due to his lower status and rudeness, Carlos thought little of him and was annoyed by his daily pestering and pranks, as well as continually frustrated by his inability to follow even basic cooking instructions. He was additionally disturbed by how Pollo and Arte remained physically and mentally unchanged from their meeting in his childhood, as well as alarmed by Pollo's murderous nature.
Arte: A fellow employee of Conchita. Due to her lower status and rudeness, Carlos thought little of her and was put off by her cold behavior towards him; learning of the cause in her past abandonment, however, Carlos sympathized with her pain. Nonetheless, Carlos was disturbed by Arte's cruel nature and how she and Pollo remained physically and mentally unchanged from their meeting in his childhood.
Conceptualization and Origin
- His surname, Marlon, is a reference to Mammon, the patron demon of greed.
- Carlos' name is partially inspired by the name of his representative Vocaloid, KAITO, with Carlos' romanization containing "ka".