|“||Deep within it, the Abyss creeps into your mind. Eventually, it'll get your body as well. Unlike the curse from the 6th Layer, those don't manifest immediately. For every expedition, you'll stand at the precipice of death and insanity, twisting the skin off your head.||”|
—Ozen, to Lyza asking her about what was up with her hair, Chapter 16
Ozen "The Immovable" (オーゼン) is a legendary White Whistle delver who has made outstanding discoveries of the Abyss and retrieved numerous artifacts of incredible value. Even among her fellow White Whistles, Ozen is renowned for her incredible physical strength. She is a mysterious person, shrouded by countless rumors that are absurd, but hard to refute.
Ozen is a very tall and rather slim woman who stands over 2 meters in height. She has a strangely shaped monochrome hairstyle that conceals the scalp deformations caused by the intensive exposure to the Curse of the Abyss.
Her eyes are pitch black and lusterless, giving her a rather unsettling and disturbing gaze. When fully equipped for delving, she wears bulky armor and a disc-shaped hat that covers her eyes.
Her white whistle is adorned with a pair of horns, giving it a bovine appearance. Despite being more than half a century old, she appears quite youthful, with the only her white hair showing her age.
A coldness dominates her personality, and she can often be cruel, cynical and apathetic. Even after discovering that she couldn't even scratch Reg during their fight, she continued to hit him anyways, citing that 'after a while [she] just got too into it'. She despises lying to children, and rarely lies to them — even if it means telling them brutal truths. Ozen has absolute control over her facial expressions, making her actual feelings (or lack thereof) normally ambiguous.
However, she is not completely devoid of warmth and it is shown that secretly she dearly cares for Lyza. When Riko and Reg left the Seeker Camp to journey into the depths of the Abyss, Ozen revealed that she would've liked it if she didn't need to send them off before she could reminisce more about Lyza. She also treats her newest apprentice Marulk for the most part kindly, allowing him to stay at the Seeker Camp so that his eyes wouldn't have to suffer under the surface's light.
Early Life Edit
Despite her youthful appearance, Ozen has been a White Whistle for over 50 years. Some time in her life, she came to know a young Lyza. Initially unwelcoming of Lyza, she attempted to drive the young girl off by threats of violence. It was only through Lyza's stubbornness and refusal to leave Ozen alone that Ozen was convinced of allowing the young girl to become her apprentice. The two became very close with each other, and with time Lyza became a fellow White Whistle. They were very fond of each other, as evidenced by Lyza once vowing to annihilate whoever attacked Ozen.
Unheard Bell Flashback Arc Edit
She was one of the members of the expedition to descend to the 4th layer in search of the artifact, the Unheard Bell, along with Lyza and her husband Torka. Though she is deeply fond of Lyza, Ozen was dismayed and disdainful of Lyza's marriage to Torka. As they journeyed down to the 4th layer, Torka as well as many other delvers died. By the time they reached the 4th layer and found the Unheard Bell, she and Lyza were one of the few survivors of the descent.
Sometime after the discovery of the Unheard Bell, Ozen was forced to help Lyza give birth. Unfortunately, Lyza's child was stillborn. On a whim, Ozen took the child's corpse, and placed it inside the Curse-Warding Box. Weakened by the birth and grieving for her child, Lyza asked Ozen to give her some time alone. After Ozen left their shelter, she cursed Torka for impregnating Lyza before dying and leaving Lyza alone.
Ozen began to make plans for her ascent, deciding that her best route would be to take the bell and Lyza while abandoning the Curse-Warding Box. She then noticed baby cries coming from within the box: Riko was miraculously resurrected. At the behest of Lyza, Ozen abandoned the Unheard Bell and helped to carry the Curse-Warding Box to the 2nd layer. Several times Ozen contemplated abandoning Riko and the Curse-Warding Box, but she persevered regardless, out of duty to Lyza.
Two years later after Riko's birth and just before Lyza's "Last Dive" into the depths of the Abyss, Ozen had her last conversation with Lyza while looking at Orth from a balcony. She commented on the disturbing actions made by Riko when coming out of the Curse-Warding Box. The moment Riko was released, she tried crawling towards the center of the Abyss. Ozen then promises Lyza that, when the time came, she would reveal to Riko the true story of her birth. Some point in time, she became the guardian of the Seeker Camp, and a mentor to Marulk and the commander of the delving team the Subterranean Bandits.
Seeker Camp Arc Edit
When Riko and Reg come to the Seeker Camp, she instructs her apprentice Marulk to lower the camp's gondola down so that the two can enter the camp. Recognizing Riko immediately, Ozen leads them inside. Seating the pair down in a sitting area of the Seeker Camp, Riko gives Ozen her mother's White Whistle so that she can examine it. Ozen is surprised to see the whistle, as she thought that she'd never see the whistle ever again. Right after, Riko thanks her, for lending her help in carrying Riko back to the surface after her birth. Hearing that, Ozen coldly admits that she often pondered ditching her and leaving her body behind during the ascension to the surface. Reminiscing about the Unheard Bell excursion further, Ozen begins muttering cryptically.
After being brought back to her senses by Marulk, Ozen inquires to Riko, wondering how she arrived at the Seeker Camp, given her status as a Red Whistle; Red Whistle delvers are prohibited from descending more than 400 meters. Aside from rules dictating that Red Whistles cannot venture further the 1st layer, the difficulty of the 2nd layer also acts as a deterrent for inexperienced Red Whistles — the harsh environment of the 2nd layer is too difficult to bear.
Interested in finding out how two Red Whistles arrived to the Seeker Camp of their own merit, Ozen instructs Marulk to lend an ear to Riko and Reg in her stead; her reasoning was that it would be easier for children to talk to children. At Ozen's instructions, Marulk gives the two of them Blue Whistles; Ozen notes that it would be troublesome to explain the presence of two Red Whistles in the Seeker Camp, so for the time being they will wear Blue Whistles. In exchange for the Blue Whistles, she takes Lyza's White Whistle as a collateral, and she tells them that they can exchange the Blue Whistles for the White Whistle when they are about to leave. After explaining, Ozen requests that Reg and Riko stay overnight, telling Riko to take a bath because she smells of vomit.
The next morning, following Riko wetting Reg's bed, Ozen walks into Riko explaining to Marulk and Reg what caused her to lose control of her bladder — a strange monster. Ozen then notes mysteriously that Riko's ignorance was not due to herself, but due to negligence by Hablog and Jiruo.
Bidding Riko to follow her if she wishes to know the answers to her questions, Ozen begins to walk up the stairs inside of the Seeker Camp. During their ascension of the stairs she tells Riko several things; Ozen tells her that the letter supposedly sent by her mother was fake, that her mother was dead and buried in a grave in the 4th layer, and that she happened to have found the letter and the whistle on that grave. When Riko expresses disbelief at the revelation, Ozen retorts; the handwriting on the letter wasn't Lyza's. Furthermore her mother wouldn't have ever written such a message, not even as a joke.
Soon Ozen brings Riko and Reg to her chamber, where she shows them a white cube. Immediately, Riko notes that the design present on the cube is incredibly complex, suggesting that it is an artifact above 2nd grade. When Riko questions why the cube isn't in the artifact catalogue, Ozen explains that it had been bought by Lyza before being auctioned off, and hence won't be found in the artifact catalogue. Riko then guesses that it was the Curse-Warding Box, to which Ozen admits that she was half-right.
Ozen reveals the true nature of the box; although the box is reputed to protect those contained within, this isn't actually true. Beings within the box will still be affected by the Curse of the Abyss, and will still die. However, instead of remaining dead, the beings within the box will start to move.
Without pause, Ozen gave Riko a chilling truth; the only reason she knows the effect of the box is because it is demonstrated to her through Riko; she was born stillborn and when Ozen placed her corpse into the box, she came back to life. The monster that Riko had saw the night before had been created by Ozen, when she had been reminded of the box's power and tried placing some meat she had for a meal into the box.
The monster that she had created the night before stopped moving after some time had passed, and Ozen disposed of it promptly. She reveals an observation she had made between Riko and the monster she created; both were trying to reach the bottom of the Abyss.
Ozen continues to agonize Riko by assuming she probably also will stop moving at some point; just like the meat. Hearing that, Regs steps in and tells Ozen that she has gone too far and a fight erupts between them. In their fight Reg is overwhelmed by Ozen's sheer brute strength. In the middle of it, Marulk arrives at the scene and is perplexed why Ozen is fighting Reg. Ozen instructs him to stay put and not to interfere. As the fight continues, one-sidedly in Ozen's favor, Reg arrives at the conclusion that only a shot from his Incinerator will be able to beat Ozen. Than he tries he misses his shot and Ozen stomps him until he fells unconscious as Riko can do nothing but helplessly watch. During the time Reg is unconscious, Marulk had panicked and went to get the other Subterranean Bandits to stop the fight.
Afterward, it's revealed that Ozen was trying to provoke Reg and Riko into a fight in order to test if they are ready to make their way further down The Abyss. She tells them that Riko's lack of communication in battle, as well as Reg's lack of being able to judge the right timing to use his Incinerator are fatal flaws that would have them wind up dead sooner or later. Furthermore, because Reg falls unconscious within ten minutes after using his Incinerator, Riko needs to be able to protect herself. As such, she instructs both of them to stay three weeks in the forest behind the Seeker Camp as survival training. During their survival training Ozen keeps track on their development viva her scouts. Reg and Riko return to the Seeker Camp after ten days and Marulk congratulates them on passing as most people don't even manage to make it even a week.
Ozen tells Reg and Riko that the training camp also should have helped both of them to train to keep track on time due to The Abyss causing a person's sense of time to get lost. Afterward, Riko and Reg leave the Seeker Camp to advance down to the 3rd layer.
Superhuman Strengh Edit
She is a peerless fighter. About 120 Thousand-Men Pins have been embedded in her body. These pins grant her superhuman strength, speed, and vitality. However, despite the pins granting her the cumulative strength of 120,000 men, even she can't put a scratch on Reg using her relic.
- Apparently, she likes odd-tasting food.
- "Do you have a conception of God? The people around here, you see, don't believe in God. Do you know what is it they believe in? The answer is this place - the Abyss itself." (To Reg)
- "Don't stay in the deep layers if you don't want to kill those who are waiting for you." (To Riko & Reg)
- ↑ extra chapter 3, page 4