Almost ten months have passed since the long-awaited Sen no Kiseki III hit Japanese shelves, but I have yet to formulate my theory based on the conundrum everyone immediately addresses — other than the one whether ‘he’ survived. Unconvinced by any of the theories so far, including my own, I will share my thoughts on the matter.
Like Aliseyun, I think Ash Carbide is the Seventh Awakener. As such, there will be much overlap between our theories.
Until Sen no Kiseki III, fans have been led to believe that only two inhabitants of Hamel survived the Tragedy of April 23rd, 1192. Joshua Astray and Loewe. Convoluted as it may seem, now there’s suddenly a “third orphan” (Falcom’s quotation marks). That’s because I think, like Aliseyun, that this “third orphan” was killed alongside his parents, but revived in the tragedy’s aftermath.
The Hamel Tragedy was the result of a series of negotiations and manipulations. Jaeger drop-outs did the dirty work, but they were hired by the commander of the 13rd Armored Division, Rudolf Arundel. The division within the army referred to in SC‘s localisation as “war hawks”. Lechter’s father, in turn, had his anxiety over his position within the army abused and manipulated by none other than the Third Anguis of Ouroboros, Georg Weissmann.
While Hamel was burning down to a crisp, Weissmann came to witness the fruit of his labours. Although technically still a bishop, Weissmann had been working with Ouroboros since before his excommunication. The Hamel Tragedy would spawn a war with Liberl, which would end up in Liberl’s annexation in the Erebonian Empire – Osborne’s predecessor as chancellor would have been a breeze to manipulate, so Liberl’s annexation would work advantageously for the Gospel Plan to obtain the Aureole. Watching Hamel burn, Weissmann realised that this burning village would provide the perfect material for Ouroboros’s next plan: the Phantasmal Blaze Plan.
Ouroboros was already working with the Black Workshop. It was a good partnership: their goals for the Phantasmal Blaze Plan, which would be executed after completion of the Gospel Plan, lined up with the Black Workshop’s aim to commence the Great Twilight. In preparation of at least the Phantasmal Blaze Plan, Weissmann revived one of the dead children in Hamel using a sinful technique he learnt through the Black Workshop.
He implemented their curse into the boy’s left eye, making sure the kid would be constantly reminded to “kill the worst one”, and manipulated the kid’s memorie so he would think he ran from the Hamel Tragedy barefooted and gave him enough knowledge to have reasons to harbour grudges against both the empire itself and the tragedy’s instigator(‘s son), Lechter. And Weissmann gave him a new name, Ash Carbide. Ash, as in ‘ashes’, the state Hamel burnt down to, and Carbide, as in ‘things turned to charcoal’ (炭化物), also the state of Hamel. Weissmann smirked over his own cleverness. (Maybe he intended Ash to become the Ashen Awakener. )
He changed to his disheartened Professor Alba persona and woke up the boy. Professor Alba takes the boy to Raquel, where he surely would find someone to manipulate to take over custody of the boy until he would be old enough to take the trial as an Awakener. His eye fell on a prostitute. A beauty, like the others, but this one had a worried look. Unbeknown to him, doctors had just found a tumour in her body. He took his chance and led her to believe they were acquaintances and asked her to look after the young Ash.
There are a couple of reasons I swap Aliseyun’s theorised Osborne as the disheartened man with Weissmann.
First, it would more directly tie the seventh line from the Black Record’s prophecy (“the unwanted child” = Weissmann) to the eighth line (the sacrificed village) in the context of the prophecy. The curse directed the unwanted child into bringing forth the sacrificed village.
Second, Osborne had his heart translated into Rean most likely in the Black Workshop, which has been speculated to be in the northern Osgiliath Basin, before dropping him off in the equally northern Ymir. The Hamel events happened in the southernmost part of Erebonia, making it unlikely Osborne was involved in both situations around the same time. Not too much time had passed, or else Ash would’ve made it to Parm before Osborne could’ve found him.
And well, Ash would’ve recognised his future chancellor as the man who found him, I’m sure.
Besides, Weissmann’s tale isn’t over yet and now could be a good time to address his earlier collaborations with Ouroboros while still working as a bishop. Maybe it was the Black Workshop who promised him techniques to create super-humans with stigma, who knows?
So here it is: I think Ash is the Seventh Awakener because Weissmann resurrected a dead kid and implemented the curse into his left eye. Not exactly married to the theory, but with Sen IV around the corner I had to gather my thoughts sooner or later.