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Pluck for Tomorrow and the Successor (あしたの勇気・うけ継ぐ者 Ashita no Yūki Uketsugumono) is the eighth story arc in Phantom Blood.

It narrates the clash between Jonathan and the Zombie Tarkus, and William Anthonio Zeppeli's sacrifice to save Jonathan.

Summary

In the Chamber of the Two-Headed Dragon, Tarkus gloats to Jonathan about many poor souls met their deaths by his hand here. As Zeppeli futilely tries to break the door open, Tarkus explains that the key of each collar is situated on the one other, forcing both prisoners to fight to the death. Jonathan is put at a heavy disadvantage because his breathing is restrained and he cannot send the Ripple through the chain.

From outside the door, Speedwagon sees a lever inside which he suspects will open the steel door. Although Speedwagon notices an arrowslit small enough for Poco to fit through, Zeppeli refuses to endanger the boy. But Poco, motivated by a memory of his sister telling him to be brave, overcomes his nerves and enters the grounds. Immediately, Tarkus charges at Poco and kicks him across the room, only wounding the boy because of Jonathan yanking the chain. Luckily, Poco lands near the lever and lays on it to open the steel door.

TarkusFight

Jonathan defeating Tarkus

As Speedwagon tends to Poco, Zeppeli realizes that he has entered the place that his master Tonpetty foretold he would die in. Regardless, Zeppeli realizes what he must do to assist Jonathan and accepts his impending fate to "release a young lion into his future". Zeppeli tries to fight Tarkus, but the Zombie binds him with the chain and yanks so violently he tears the Ripple master's torso from his legs while snapping Jonathan's neck. Tarkus gloats over his victory until notices that Zeppeli is crawling toward Jonathan. The Ripple master then uses the "Ultimate Deep Pass Overdrive" to transfer all his remaining Ripple into Jonathan's body. Empowered by the sudden surge of Ripple, Jonathan heals his neck and overpowers Tarkus. First destroying the dark knight's arm, Jonathan kills Tarkus with a Ripple-infused double punch to the face.

ZeppeliDeath

Zeppeli's passing.

Victorious, Jonathan still cries for his mentor. Held in Jonathan's arms, Zeppeli tells him to stop crying and go destroy the Stone Mask; the Ripple master is satisfied with his life and places his hope in Jonathan. Zeppeli expires. Jonathan, Speedwagon, and Poco leave the castle.

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