- "Please... keep what I’ve said a secret."
- ―Ney Phutapie[src]
Ney Phutapie, born Ney Marlon, was the Thirteenth Princess of the Kingdom of Marlon and a spy for Abyss I.R. and her mother, Queen Prim. Born the illegitimate daughter of King Arth and Prim, Ney was given to Abyss I.R. to be experimented on. Sent undercover to the Lucifenian Royal Palace and subsequently adopted by Mariam Phutapie, she became a maid at the palace, working to ensure Lucifenia's destruction for her mother. She was one of Gretel's reincarnations.
- "Wait a minute. So you're saying—"
"Yes. The girl in this painting is the baby from back then... Your little sister."
- ―King Kyle and Keel Freezis[src]
On November 1, EC 482, Ney was born the illegitimate daughter of Queen Prim Marlon and King Arth Lucifen d'Autriche, given to Abyss I.R. by Prim to hide her infidelity from her husband. Over the years, Abyss experimented on Ney for her magical research while also training her in espionage and assassination; over time, the girl became fueled by an obsessive loyalty to her mother. In EC 488, the six year-old Ney was brought by Prim to visit the royal palace in Bariti; while there, she was introduced to her half-brother, Kyle, and she modeled for one of his paintings although never speaking with him.
In EC 491, Abyss I.R. sent Ney to infiltrate Lucifenia in preparation for possessing Princess Riliane with the Demon of Pride while also spying on Minister Presi and see if he let himself be possessed by the Demon of Gluttony. After retrieving one of the Four Mirrors of Lucifenia, Ney infiltrated the royal palace and and witnessed her uncle's defeat at the hands of Elluka Clockworker and Mariam Phutapie, with the Demon of Pride being exorcised from Princess Riliane.
She soon after reported everything to Abyss on the outskirts of Lucifenia; she received her next instructions to transfer the Demon of Pride to Riliane after Queen Anne was dead, and the nine-year-old headed back for the capital. Crafting a timid and loose-tongued persona for herself, Ney allowed herself to be discovered unconscious by Mariam, feigning amnesia and becoming adopted as Ney Phutapie. She eventually became a maid at the royal palace. As time progressed, she spread rumors among the staff and passed them off gossip she had heard.
Reign of Evil
- "We two who once played with Princess Riliane at the palace five years ago are now facing each other again as soldiers. I'll never understand this world of ours... Kyahaha!"
- ―Ney to Chartette[src]
On December 27, EC 499, Ney was helping with the preparations for Riliane's fourteenth birthday happening later that night. Agreeing to take Allen's place in bringing Riliane's midafternoon snack, she entered Riliane's room at three o'clock and discovered she had escaped out of a hidden passage at the black of the fireplace. She frantically called for the princess until she found Leonhart, Allen, and Chartette, explaining what had happened. She subsequently joined the search party Leonhart organized and sought Riliane in the Lost Woods. During the search, she apologized for her carelessness and Allen and Leonhart comforted her.Later on, Ney and the rest of the search party saw a signal beacon launched from the nearby port town and traveled there to retrieve the Princess. Once Riliane was returned to the palace, the servants were forced to make up for their lost time that evening, and exhaustively served dishes during the celebration that night. As the servants prepared to bring out Riliane's giant birthday cake, Ney frantically retrieved Allen from where he was resting and had him help her and the other servants push the cake out to the amazed crowd.
Sometime after, in EC 500, Ney learned that Leonhart was stealing from the palace stores to feed the citizens; when Riliane stormed into the kitchen one day, demanding to know the identity of the one stealing food, Ney hesitantly admitted to her that it was Leonhart when faced with beheading. Later, she told the princess "rumors" she had heard discrediting Leonhart's loyalty and good character.
The day following her confession, Ney met with Allen in the Servant Room and lied that she had overheard Leonhart saying that he had sent Allen to the palace with the intention of making him assassinate Riliane. As she tried to speak further with him about this, Allen left. Ney was later bedridden with the flu around the time Allen was sent to visit Keel Freezis at his mansion.
- "Mother, I've done it! Your daughter, Ney Marlon, magnificently accomplished it!"
- ―Ney's triumphant cry[src]
After Riliane learned that Kyle broke off her engagement, Mariam was tasked with discovering the identity of the king's secret lover; sent to the Kingdom of Elphegort to investigate, Ney arrived at the Freezis' home, explaining what had transpired at the palace. After that she returned to Mariam and told her she learned nothing regarding the mysterious girl's identity. During the Green Hunting, Ney spied on Allen as he visited Keel in prison and overheard that Keel was harboring Kyle's alleged lover, who was his maid Michaela.
She soon after learned from Mikina where Michaela's hiding place was located in Millennium Tree Forest, as well as discovering that Michaela was one of Elluka's disciples who was assisting her in collecting the vessels of sin. After telling Riliane in the Servant Room that Allen knew where Michaela was, she left when Allen arrived and waited outside as he and Riliane talked. Once he exited, she feigned guilt as she learned Allen had been ordered to kill Michaela.
When she saw that Allen had doubts about carrying out his orders, Ney disguised herself as him and went to Michaela's hiding spot the following night. Fooling Michaela, Ney lured her to the top of the well and knocked her back down, breaking her back. Triumphant, she then stabbed Michaela and left. Not long after, she enjoyed an afternoon with Chartette and Riliane in the Heavenly Yard.
- "Haha, I'm just kidding, Chartette. I know you didn't kill her. Because I'm the one who did it."
- ―Ney admitting to Mariam's murder[src]
After the revolution was over and her brother occupied the Lucifenian Royal Palace, Ney reported to Kyle that Germaine, Elluka, and Gumillia were involved in Michaela's murder and fed him information on their possible whereabouts. Soon after, she returned to Marlon and saw her mother, Prim, again for the first time in nine years. There she reported the princess' execution and the dissolution of Three Heroes.
When Kyle asked to use the Special Maneuvers Task Force to assist in his Witch Hunt in EC 502, Abyss I.R. assigned Ney as its head. With absolute freedom to anything in regards to the Witch Hunt, she and her underlings tracked Gumillia as the new court mage and adviser to the Beelzenian Emperor, while finding Germaine was a soldier for the Beelzenian army.
- "The other generals have lost a bit of their morale, following you making that amateur lass a commander."
- ―General George Ausdin to Kyle[src]
Ney later crossed the border to the Beelzenian Empire after midnight and killed all the guards on the night shift, before entering the Rucolebeni cemetery. As she encountered Chartette Ney began to taunt her former colleague, revealing her true nature and that the ceasefire between Marlon and Beelzenia had ended. Ney then spotted Yukina Freezis accompanying Chartette, although not quite recognizing her, and introduced herself. As Chartette threatened her to leave, Ney feigned an accusation that Chartette had killed her mother before admitting that she was the true culprit.As she continued to taunt the two, Ney brandished the Glass of Conchita and poured red wine into it in anticipation of the glass' reanimation ritual. After filling the glass to the brim, Ney poured the wine onto the ground and laughed hysterically as the spell took effect. With an army of the undead, Ney made the former Beelzenian Emperor's reanimated corpse the commander and directed her forces to assault Rucolebeni, among other areas. While there, the task force confirmed that Germaine was also present in Beelzenia. Three days later, Ney's army was overcome and Beelzenia launched a counterattack on Retasan.
Once the Beelzenian army began laying siege to the fortress, the golden-haired commander immediately requested for reinforcements; denied by most generals, only three thousand soldiers came to bolster her five thousand troops. Armed with only eight thousand troops, Ney forced the battle into a deadlock to hold the fortress city. As the Beelzenian army conducted nightly raids on the fortress, she began rallying the corpse soldiers within the fortress to bolster their defenses, causing her soldiers to fall into further disarray. As Beelzenia's forces began capturing the fortress city, Ney fled with her task force; later she confirmed that Germaine and Gumillia had left the Empire.
Traveling to the royal palace, Ney had an audience with Kyle and she, with her task force, made a report to the Marlon king in the Hall of Sounds. Weathering his criticisms and explaining what she had learned about Germaine and Gumillia, Ney dryly explained that she was unable to capture them with the undead soldiers and put the blame on Abyss I.R. and Kyle's own tactics. She then explained she would be returning home to seek further counsel from Abyss. As she departed for Marlon, she left the rest of the task force in Kyle's hands on his request.
- "I said to listen, you whooore!"
- ―Ney to Prim[src]
Once Kyle voyaged to Marlon after being freed from the Demon of Pride's influence, Ney and Abyss I.R. headed to Bariti and then, with the rest of the Special Maneuvers Task Force, Ney joined her mother at Castle Hedgehog. Upon her order, Ney began releasing the Gula plague throughout the Blood Pool Region via the Glass, building up an undead army through its resurrection powers. Shortly before Kyle launched an attack on the castle, she positioned the task force's assassination squad at the courtyard to ambush him and Germaine. Kyle and the Marlon army later assaulted the castle and engaged Ney's reanimated army.
Allowing Kyle to spot her during the fighting, Ney lured him and his companions into the courtyard, where the Task Force sprang their ambush on him and Germaine. While the intruders were occupied, she fled up Heartbeat Clocktower and waited at the top with her mother for Kyle's arrival. After her brother entered with two soldiers, Ney taunted him and fled; pursued by Kyle's troops, Ney killed the soldiers and returned to Prim's chamber to share her success. As she tried to get Prim's praise, Ney found her mother not even acknowledging her presence and, becoming enraged, she stabbed her in the chest.After her manic fit, Ney realized Prim was dead and, unable to accept she had killed her, convinced herself that Kyle was the culprit. Driven to a frenzy, Ney tried to invoke a demonic transformation with the Glass of Conchita, although to her confusion she only succeeded in changing her uniform into a red dress. Nonetheless, Ney began a ferocious attack on Kyle as she gradually began to act more like Banica Conchita, even talking about eating her opponent.
When Kyle finally tried to counter her with his sword, the blade broke and Ney knocked him to the ground. Straddling him, Ney stabbed Kyle in the chest and her blade was blocked by Michaela's enchantment on Kyle's shell necklace, shattering her knife and the necklace itself. Enraged, Ney continued her attack with her hands, punching Kyle repeatedly, until she was interrupted by Germaine. While she was distracted, Kyle pulled out Chartette's rocket glove and fired the weapon at her, launching Ney to the ceiling and back and knocking her unconscious. Ney was soon after taken to Lioness Castle, tied to a bed in one of the bedrooms.
Later on, Abyss I.R. arrived while possessing Mikina and murdered the assassin. The Demon of Gluttony then prepared to absorb her into the Glass of Conchita; as she did Ney, appearing as she had when she was six, encountered the dreaming Kyle in the black box while standing with The Demon of Gluttony. After she apologized for all that she had done, hoping to be reborn someday with him and her half-siblings, Ney said her farewells to Kyle and The Demon shortly after absorbed her into the Glass. Afterwards, Ney's memories of her past lives awakened and she returned to her original self as Gretel.
After her death, Ney was buried next to her mother in Left Chapel as a Marlon general. Yukina Freezis later wrote a novel detailing the true events and Ney's actions, gaining popularity around the world during the succeeding centuries. Ney's soul, having returned to her original self as Gretel, acted as the Demon of Gluttony's servant and familiar.
A century later, Gretel mused about her past incarnation, comparing Lemy Abelard's blind devotion for Julia to Ney's for Prim, telling her story to him when he insisted that he wasn't simply brainwashed by her.
Personality and Traits
- "So it was you who killed the border guard and invaded at dawn today. Why would you do something like that!?"
- ―Chartette and Ney[src]
Ney's obsession with Prim was highlighted by her own mental instability and sociopathy as a result of Abyss I.R. experimenting on her from an early age. Having no respect for life save for Prim's, and eager in pleasing her, Ney took sadistic glee in carrying out murders and acts of espionage to accomplish her mother's goals, her bloodlust devolving into wanton killing for sport. Even as a young girl, Ney was unsociable and spoke like an adult, highlighting her lack of a real childhood. By the time she murdered Prim, the Demon of Gluttony had completely eroded Ney's cognitive skills and she acted animalistic, even craving human flesh.
While undercover, Ney maintained a persona as a weak, timid, and high-strung maid; pretending to be merely loose-lipped, Ney used her penchant for gossip to carefully seed lies to manipulate others. Many of the relationships she maintained at the palace were faux, and she demonstrated no love or loyalty to any of her fellows later on. Despite this, Ney subconsciously grieved the loss of her innocence and felt truly guilty for all that she had done, wishing she could have become a proper loving sister to her half-siblings.
Skills and Abilities
- "But even if the summoning of these dead soldiers was Ney's work, it's hard to imagine, that it's due to a spell. As far as I know, Ney does not have strong enough magical ability to be able to do such a thing."
Having been trained by both Abyss I.R. and Mariam Phutapie, Ney was well learned in espionage, spying, cloak-and-dagger, and assassination. Even at the age of nine, she was able to flawlessly create a fake persona that fooled even Mariam. She was also cunning in crafting this persona, appearing to everyone as a non-threat. She was similarly able to impersonate others, like pretending to be Allen. Because of her unique position at the palace, Ney could easily influence Princess Riliane and her reputation for gossip let her seamlessly spread misinformation even in everyday conversation.
Employing a small, concealable dagger as her weapon of choice, Ney murdered grunt soldiers or guards with ease. After becoming the Head of Espionage, Ney had the full resources of the Special Maneuvers Task Force at her disposal, including its legion of masked agents and extensive intelligence network. Likewise, after being made a Marlon general by Kyle, Ney had the authority to lead large armies as needed, although she lacked experience and charisma, making her ineffective as a commander; this lack of military tact was emphasized by how her attempts to conjure more undead soldiers only further disoriented her existing troops.
Although she had no magical talent, Ney was able to extensively use the Demon of Gluttony's power due to being a reincarnation of Gretel, and by extension, Arte. Through the Glass of Conchita, Ney could reanimate those that died from a Gula infection, potentially resurrecting entire hordes under her control. While possessed, she could also undergo a demonic transformation, striking with heightened speed, reflexes, and strength while dressed in the attire of the Demon of Gluttony: Banica Conchita.
Prim Marlon: Ney's birth mother. Raised to be obsessively loyal to Prim, Ney's every action was for the sake of pleasing her mother. In addition, she took an addictive satisfaction in the queen's praise, although not caring whether or not Prim truly loved her. Due to this obsession, as her mental state deteriorated Ney became enraged in a moment when Prim failed to praise her and murdered her. Despite her maniacal glee when stabbing her mother, Ney still became distraught and enraged when believing Kyle killed her.
Kyle Marlon: Ney's half-brother. Although briefly playing with him as a child, Ney expressed no love for Kyle, seeing him as unimportant compared to Prim. In addition, she amused herself by teasing the king and had no qualms manipulating him for her mother's ends, up to attacking him directly when needed. Despite this, deep down Ney wished to have had a closer relationship with her half-sibling, bidding him a fonder farewell in death.
Abyss I.R.: The mage who experimented on Ney. Obedient to Abyss I.R.'s every order, Ney acted as the mage's agent and looked to her guidance with the Glass of Conchita. Due to being used for her experiments, Abyss I.R.'s treatment of Ney was a leading cause of her mental instability.
Mariam Phutapie: Ney's adopted mother. While maintaining a false mother-daughter relationship with Mariam for years and learning espionage under her tutelage, Ney held no loyalty or love for the Head of Maids; during the Revolution Ney had no qualms with abandoning her, and later took maniacal satisfaction in murdering her for her real mother's sake.
Chartette Langley: A fellow servant of Riliane and later opponent. Ney often quarreled with Chartette over trivial things in their employment and, although they often would spend time together as friends, she held no true affection for her. Ney later saw her only as an obstacle to her mother's plans, taking pleasure in finally revealing her true nature to Chartette and in attempting to kill her.
Michaela: One of Ney's victims. Ney took great delight in killing Michaela as the apprentice of Elluka Clockworker, one of her mother's enemies, and as a catalyst for Prim's designs towards Lucifenia.
Riliane Lucifen d'Autriche: Ney's half-sister and employer. Although often spending time with the princess in her employment as a maid, Ney easily manipulated her in order to fulfill Prim's aims, such as in feeding her rumors and betraying Michaela's location to her. Despite this, deep down Ney wished to have had a better relationship with her half-sibling. Originally, Riliane was supposed to be the next reincarnation of Gretel but was instead passed onto Ney due to the distortion of fate caused by Prim's affair with Arth.
Allen Avadonia: Ney's half-brother and fellow servant of Riliane. While pretending to hold a friendly relationship with Allen, Ney often manipulated him during their employment together according to Prim's orders, such as telling the servant falsehoods about Leonhart and using him to discover Michaela's location. Despite this, deep down Ney wished to have had a better relationship with her half-sibling.
Gretel: Ney's first incarnation. Ney got her loyalty to Prim from Gretel's relationship with Meta Salmhofer; she associated her mother figure with Meta, and so wished to please her.
Arte: Ney's previous incarnation. Ney's relationship with the Demon of Gluttony is credited to her connection to Arte, and the latter passed on to her fanatic loyalty towards her mother figures.
Conceptualization and Origin
- Ney's name is derived from Nei, a character from the game Phantasy Star II.
- Her adopted last name reversed spells the English word "epitaph", a short text honoring a deceased person, typically engraved on a gravestone.
- Her original surname, Marlon, is a reference to Mammon, the patron demon of Greed.
- Ney's name is partially inspired by the name of her representative Vocaloid derivative, Neru, with both names sharing their first two letters.
- In an interview, Akuno-P stated that Ney had been part of the story since the very beginning, albeit her character's setup and role changed several times during development.
- In her original setup, Ney's character was the stepsister of the twins.
- Ney shares the same birthday (November 1st) with her Vocaloid derivative.
- Her dagger has a retractable blade and can be used as a hair accessory, which allows her to conceal it in her ponytail, as shown in Entr'acte of Evil: The Daughter of Evil Worldguide
- In The Lunacy of Duke Venomania, Neruneru Nerune is listed as a spy, foreshadowing Ney's role during her service to Riliane.
- In Epic of Evil: The Daughter of Evil Fanbook, Ney was voted as the eighth most popular character in The Daughter of Evil Series by Japanese fans.
- Ney ironically ended up succeeding her adoptive mother as Abyss I.R.'s personal assassin.