Selim Vergès (セリム・ヴァージェス Serimu Vājesu) is an alraune that lives in the old execution grounds in the underground caverns below Waldstein Castle.
Selim has pink hair, the crown of which resembles a flower in bloom. The upper part of her body is humanoid, but from the ankles downward she is entirely vines, petals and roots. She can uproot herself and move where she likes.
When she clothes herself, she wears the large round spectacles that once belonged to the human girl Selim.
Centuries ago, Selim was originally a nameless flower that grew under a guillotine in a "certain country's" execution grounds. It gained sentience when a vampire was executed and the vampire's blood rained down upon her.
Newly aware of the world around her, the flower grew to love the taste of blood and the cheers of the crowds as they celebrated the deaths of those above her. Bathed in the blood of the executioner's victims, it constantly craved more and more blood and even wished that she could move and slit the throats of the humans around it so that it could drink their blood.
One day - a whole year after the flower first bloomed (i.e. when it first became sentient) - a human girl kneels beside the flower and waters it, noting sympathetically that the flower must be thirsty (it has not rained for weeks, and executions have been on hold for several days). The flower has been thirsty indeed - so thirsty that as of late it has considered using her roots to cut off the feet of passersby.
The girl talks to the flower as she waters her, commenting that she knew all along about the flower growing there, and remarks on how beautiful the flower blooms. The flower feels its loneliness dissipating as it looks up at the girl's downcast face, and for the first time in its life feels a sense of happiness with the realization that this girl has been aware of it all this time. From that day onwards, the girl visits the flower every night in order to give it clean well water to drink from, and eventually the flower begins to truly love the girl's visits - even more than it does the blood and the criminals' screams and the crowd's cheers.
The flower pays attention to what the girl has to say on her visits, and over time the girl becomes the flower's standard of humanity. And over time -- the flower loses its thirst for blood.
Another year and several months pass since the girl first waters the plant, and one night the girl (with her typical lonely smile) tells the flower that it is amazing it has been blooming for two years without wilting even once. She wonders if there is a flower spirit living inside the flower, and makes a wish: She says taht many more people will die here soon, so she wants the flower to bloom forever so that everyone can see its beauty. She hopes that even the condemned people that the villagers say are evil will also be able to see the flower's beauty.
The flower feels fear at the girl's words. The girl continues to smile inscrutably and continues: "No one in this world is truly evil. And if anyone is truly evil, it must be me. After all, even though I know that no one is evil...I still can't bring myself to forgive them." The flower desperately tries to communicate with the girl with the first time, but cannot since it possesses neither vocal cords nor telepathy.
The flower's fears soon become reality as the girl does not visit the next day, or the next, or the next. The flower realizes for the first time the meaning of terror and how important the girl is to itself, and shakes with the possibility that it will lose her. After two days of waiting, the flower finally sees her again -- at high noon. From the gossip of the crowd, the flower learns that the girl stabbed the assemblyman (who has since recovered) responsible for the executions...presumably out of revenge, since he was the one who sentenced her father to death via guillotine. What's more, the girl (who would normally be sent to the gallows) specifically asked to be executed with the guillotine.
As the girl is brought up to the stand, the crowd cheers in anticipation - and the flower is filled with disgust instead of its usual pride at the sound. It wonders if it had reveled along with the crowd when the girl's father was executed, and if "it had condescended at his screams." When the executioner asks if she has any last words, the girl asks if she can keep her glasses on, since she wants to see the world until the end. The executioner nods, and the girl is laid out under the guillotine frame.
The flower strains its body, wanting nothing more than to move and save her. It cannot move. The girl looks down at it from where she is laid out above on the executioner stand, and tells it she is very glad it is still blooming with a smile bereft of loneliness. She says that it is beautiful, and her thank-you is cut-off mid word as the blade falls down and severs her head from her body; her glasses fall beneath a gap in the scaffolding. Her blood splatters against the flower's body.
That night, the blood-covered flower wallows in grief that turns into hatred, swearing that it will kill everyone who did this to her - and after its revenge is complete, it will die too. Suddenly, well water falls from overhead and cools its hot petals. The flower looks up to see a large twentysomething man in nice clothes. The man thanks the flower for staying alive until now, and muses that the flower has been in bloom ever since "that vampire" was beheaded. It turns out that he's been looking at it all this time just like the now deceased girl, and it seems that he is aware that the flower has a sense of self.
The man explains that the girl had told him that after she died there would be nobody left to water the flower, and had requested that he would look after the flower in her stead once in a while. He vows that he'll do exactly that; he'll water the flower daily. He says that he has no right to ask the flower this, and with a "complicated expression" on his face he asks that the flower "please...live on in her stead." If the flower has drunk the girl's blood, it should drink her soul as well. He hopes that it will be happy alongside that girl...Selim.
His face is finally illuminated by the moonlight, and the flower sees in his face a sadness even deeper than that of the girl's. The flower realizes that the man is the executioner, and remembers how the girl - Selim - had told it that no one is truly evil. The flower absorbs all of the girl's blood, and with everything it has wills itself to move. Her will manifests itself as vampiric powers, and after several minutes the flower manages to reach out and grab the girl's glasses from under the guillotine.
Time passes, and the executioner waters the flower every day until he passes away of old age. Eventually, the flower - the alraune - takes on the form of a human girl, and begins to call herself Selim Vergès; she takes the girl's first name (Selim) as her own and the executioner's surname (Vergès) as her own.
Selim takes up residence in the underground caverns of Waldstein Castle, alongside other supernatural creatures (such as Melina the scylla and Mr. Puzzle the skeleton) who cannot move freely aboveground due to their unusual appearances.
In 2005, Valdred Ivanhoe (another plant-based vampire) offers to take her out to the Carnale Festival, noting that Selim clealry wants to go. When she points out that she can't go because of her appearance, Valdred uses his powers to envelop Selim in an illusion, making her look completely human. The two attend the festival that night, where a girl accidentally bumps into Valdred. They are soon approached by a vampire called Aiji Ishibashi; the vampire introduces himself as a member of The Organization and asks them to escort him to Gerhardt von Waldstein.
The two take him to the Castle, and converse as they wait alongside Ishibashi for Gerhardt to be free. Their talk is interrupted when Pirie Mistwalker and The NEET Squad make a noisy appearance and ask for Val and Selim's help in finding the Doctor, who has gone missing. Val and Selim return to the festival in search of the Doctor, and return to Pirie empty-handed in front of the stage upon which Watt Stalf has been giving a speech. They decide to go check out the mountain path again, and Selim, Val, Pirie and the NEET Squad head there without high expectations.
The group ends up running into the Doctor facing off against an Eater (Rudi Wenders) on the mountain path, and are unnerved when they realize that the Doctor's clothes are stained with blood, and at the Doctor's uncharacteristic cold and uncaring attitude. The Doctor reveals that his real name is "Theodosius M. Waldstein," and explains that he's a very distant relative of Gerhardt's who has had to go into hiding on the island from people hell-bent on revenge like Rudi.
Pirie asks if Theo did something to the man in armor, and he snickers that all he did was butcher the man's family and friends. Not only that, he's killed a great number of people in the past...at least four digits' worth. Pirie cries out that he must be lying (what reason would he have had?), but Theo says he's a vampire so he doesn't need a reason. At any rate, he killed because it was fun. Pirie brings up Theo's companion, The Professor, and he callously calls the Professor a piece of scrap. Pirie attempts to punch him, but he turns his face into fog.
Theo lazily tells Rudi that he can slaughter anyone he likes inside the castle, and Rudi informs the group that he'd initially vowed to kill Theo's friends - but he will consider them allies if they turn against Theo. Theo grins and says that sounds interesting - he had been thinking of killing Selim and Val and the others for an experiment anyway. Val turns to Selim in concern, but she looks at him gently and tells him that no one in this world is truly evil. They just have to believe...and everything will be all right.
One of the freeloader vampires lands a flying kick on Rudi (to his companions' cheers); he and his friends are going to side with the Doctor because they've been promised money in the safe that only the Doctor can open - and besides, siding with a mass murderer is probably safer for them in the long run. Not to mention, the rest of the castle will side with them too. And furthermore, they trust Viscount Gerhardt, who was the one who decided to let Theo live in the castle in the first place.
Rudi sends his attacker flying into a tree trunk with a powerful punch to the freeloader's shoulder. The injured vampire is rendered immediately unconscious. As Rudi prepares to attack, The Blue-Haired Werewolf emerges from the undergrowth and drop kicks him, sending him sprawling into a tree. Three more werewolves emerge from the woods and surround Rudi, headed by Ferret von Waldstein (a vampire).
At Ferret's hateful words towards Rudi, Selim and the others learn that Rudi has gravely injure their human friend Michael Dietrich. Val and Pirie immediately see Rudi as an enemy, and Val steps away from Selim in order to attack Rudi in the illusionary form of a tentacled dinosaur maw. During the attack, Ferret drives a white stake into Rudi's helm and sends it crashing off the armor and down the slope.
The werewolves realize Rudi's scent is no longer present in the armor, and the group turns to see a figure standing downwind - Rudi, sans armor. With dizzying speed, Rudi rushes forward and grips Selim by the neck, raising her up into the air. Bringing his other hand up he strikes at her neck -- only for Theo to intervene at the last second, thrusting his arm in front of Selim in order to protect her (losing his hand in the process).
Rudi lets go of Selim and cackles at the thought of Theo actually protecting his friends. He is ecstatic at the chance of finally obtaining his revenge, and brutally attacks Theo's body with his bare hands, ripping flesh away from flesh. Ferret approaches Rudi, and is surprised when he suddenly collapses in agony. The group is confused, and then further confused at the arrival of Melhilm Herzog, who introduces himself as an old friend of Ferret's adoptive father.
As Melhilm tends to Rudi, he turns to look up the mountain and says "...you are late, Zygmunt." Selim and the others look and see thousands of humans descending the mountain in utter silence. Melhilm states that this is the ability of his friend Zygmunt Kiparis -- subjugation via airborne infection.
A huge dark mass of bats arrive, obscuring Melhilm's and the others' view into darkness. The ground turns into the great gaping jaws of a wolf, and everyone except for Melhilm and Rudi are swallowed whole. Moments later, Selim and the others emerge unharmed and underground, and are greeted by Relic von Waldstein. It turns out that Relic had spotted the confrontation and turned part of the ground into a wolf's maw, in order to whisk away the people he recognizes and cares about to safety (he'd created a small space in the dirt for them to abscond to).
Moving the dirt and earth around them, Relic transports them into the storage area in the castle basement (Selim is the first to recognize it). As the group make their way back to the old execution grounds in the underground caverns, Theo confesses his crimes in full to them, filled with remorse. While the freeloader vampires are incline to forgive him (they are still anticipating money), Val is not. Selim intervenes, and asks Val to back down and to stop being angry. Meanwhile, Pirie is delighted to learn that Theo didn't really mean it when he called the Professor a piece of scrap.
Val apologizes to Selim and Theo, and Selim smiles. She turns to the Doctor and asks that he please not call himself a villain. Even if he has done something truly unforgivable, he should not 'cut himself down' like that. "No one can measure the weight of their own sins." She wishes that he wouldn't try and create more sins here - not in the old execution grounds, where there is nothing but punishment.
At some point, Selim resolves to watch the proceedings and intervene only if someone is in immediate danger of dying.
A flash of silver interrupts her musings - the silver tip of a whip. The brandisher is a woman Eater by the name of Theresia Riefenstahl, who is surprised when Relic manages to catch it before it reaches Val. She yanks the whip back, and greets Theo as several more people enter the caverns: Rudi, Melhilm, and several subjugated locals and tourists...including a subjugated Hilda Dietrich, and Gerhardt himself, who informs Relic that he is here to resolve the situation taking place.
Rudi, Theresia, and Theo have a tense confrontation, during which it is revealed that the bones inside The Professor's coffin might be those of Elsa Wenders, Rudi's deceased older sister. Not only that - it is revealed that Theresia has been and is in love with Theo, and that she killed Elsa out of jealousy. Zygmunt reveals the pst of Elsa, Theresia and Theo with relish, and sends Hilda charging toward Rudi.
Relic moves in between Hilda and Rudi, and the subjugated Hilda restrains him from behind. Rudi lunges forward and bites into Relic's arm, absorbing his power. Before Rudi can tear into Relic's neck, Theo urges him to stop attacking the others and only focus on killing him (Theo). Rudi howls in despair and races towards Theo with murderous intent.
Selim springs forward with unimaginable force, and leaps between Theo and Rudi with the intention of taking Rudi's blow upon herself. She does not receive the blow - instead, Valdred has flung himself - his original form, a watermelon - between Rudi and Selim, and his watermelon form is smashed into pieces; his illusionary form of a boy disappears. In a panic, Selim rushes about and gathers up the watermelon fragments. When she realizes that Val has abandoned his own body, she drinks Val's blood (the watermelon juice) through her roots.
Rudi charges towards Theo again, and Selim stands resolutely in his way. The Eater raises his hand in the air, intending to destroy them both. He swings downward, only for his arm to stop mid-strike.
Val's voice reverberates throughout the cavern. "...Don't kill her... Don't kill Selim!" As Theresia and Melhilm are also pinned to the ground, Gerhardt delightedly writes out in big letters that Val has changed the form of his very own soul. It turns out that Val has synchronized his consciousness with the entire island.
Later, when things have settled down, Selim wanders the caverns calling out Val's name. Val materializes his favored image of a green-haired boy, and asks if they should go now or tomorrow. Selim is taken aback, and he reminds her that he'd promised to show her around earlier that day. After all, he can now cast illusions anywhere on the island, and keep her true form hidden. He admits that he's not sure how long his new form will last -- it feels like he could disappear any moment.
Selim reassures him that he won't disappear, and reveals that she drank his 'blood' earlier when the watermelon burst. Stretching out her hands, she shows him the ripe black watermelon seeds that she collected when he smashed and states again that she's absorbed his blood. If he ever feels like he's going to disappear, he should take refuge inside her. She'll plant his watermelon seeds all over the island for him. With tears in her eyes, she pleads, "So Val...please. Let's live on together."
She asks him to listen to the story of how she was born and why she decided to look like a human. It's a story she's always wanted to tell someone, since she's worried that someday she'll forget it all or think she made it all up. Val thanks her, and agrees that they should live on together.
(To be continued)