A bit of an ironic statement coming from a mazoku.
When does Xel lie? Technically?
In REVO, he actually makes a statement to Wizer on how he makes it a point never to lie. (“You, on the other hand, seem to lie without a second thought.” or something like that.) I guess I always assumed that Xellos being a stickler for telling the truth- though not necessarily the whole truth- was canon.
I have taken that statement and ran with it with my RPing :U The only time he has lied in the series was in sarcasm.
He lies by omission which is technically still a lie. That’s nor including his behavior. Deceitfulness is far more complex then making up stories.
He deliberately convinces people of things he knows to be untrue. He’s a liar, whether the individual statements he makes can be interpreted in a way to render them technically true or not.
My view: He makes it a point to tell the technical truth, but I don’t think he always does even that. I do not see “not lying” as some kind of moralistic code (for want of a better word), but rather I think it appeals to his sense of irony to tell the truth in completely deceptive ways. If that’s the reason, then that seems like something that’s more of a preference than a credo. If the situation calls for a lie, I believe he’d tell one outright. Word games are still just games.
I think a better way of putting it is that he ‘doesn’t lie but he’s not honest.’
He never technically tells an untruth, but he is selective of the truths he does tell. And if he can’t do that, he just says it’s a secret.
It’s definitely not a moral thing, I agree. It’s just trollin’ and I think he gets a kick out of it.
He is, in general, remarkably honest – he answers questions he has no reason to, warns people of danger, is bad at concealing his true feelings (that last one might even count as a lie), and so on. His trolling often consists of being too honest , like the trap for Lina and the stolen rocket when he confessed to having taken it himself.
He only lies when he absolutely has to – or for shits and giggles, but those are easily recognizable as long as you know him the least bit. He is, in generally, honest, and defaults to telling the truth.
The other thing is that he prefes to be solely in control of the situation, and is not comfortable with collaboration even with someone who shares all of his goals – either he just has the situation exactly where he wants it and goes along with Lina’s tactics, or he won’t let others know what he’s doing. He doesn’t lie easily, and he isn’t good at evading direct questions, but his motives and goals are so much of an enigma he remains unpredictable just by default.
Fuck, I lost the first paragraph which mentioned his actual lies: to Lina that he was a priest of the temple Claire Bible was stolen from (confessed immediately), to Otherworlders that he was on their side, and to Lina at the beginning of Evo/Revo that he had nothing to do with the history of Taforashia (we didn’t learn what he did there in the end but from context it’s obvious, he twitched and squirmed and then teleported away when Lina pressed on).
Xelloss is not a good liar – he only successfully fools those who don’t know him well. But he doens’t have some sort of specific aversion to telling direct lies, and he’s not good at hiding dishonesty in general, as I pointed out above.
A Trickster who doesn’t lie directly but isn’t honest at all is a famous trope, and thing is, Xelloss doens’t fit it at all. His aversion to direct lies is not some sort of self-imposed challenge, he just isn’t good at it and appears to dislike it in general. All his secrecy comes from us not knowing anything about his underlying motives; as soon as those are known, he’s transparent as fuck.
he’s an adorable cutie and a very special snowflake okay
So about these examples, have you considered that maybe the subtitles aren’t quite accurate?
Your second example refers to an event that happened off screen so we don´t know how exactly he presented the alliance in the first place. Your third example is personal extrapolation of a character who has other reasons to be nervous.
So that leaves the first one.
to Lina that he was a priest of the temple Claire Bible was stolen from (confessed immediately),
What he actually says :
- “Watashi wa sono ji ni tsukai no priest desu kara.”
Tsukai makes someone the user of a thing, be it demonbeasts (majuu) or magic (mahou) or a god (karyūō). It’s a odd to cite a physical place in this position. (Bit confused on how to translate a ni in the middle of it.)
As it stands, all he needs to have done for it to be true is for him to have been at that temple and used it for something, be it information, food, signing up for a course, requesting a prayer or pulling pranks, whatever. Hell, for all we know he temporarily joined trying to find the manuscript. He already is a priest and nowhere does he say he’s employed by whatever force the temple is dedicated to.
There’s no boku no ji here, only sono ji. First he describes the temple, waits for the inevitable question, then says that temple + plus connection to self so he has an angle to avoid saying my temple. His follow up sentences rely on implicit language, as is common in Japanese. The honor of the temple may well be damaged, but he doesn’t say our. The closest to a lie here is the use to torikaeshite, to recover, because it implies ownership, but even then, Xelloss’s concept of ownership is up to the situation.
He’s putting an awful lot of sentences to something that can be said in one : “I’m trying to restore the honor of my temple by recovering our stolen manuscript.” But that would be a flat out lie.
…about two and a half years ago all of this was fresh in my mind and I at least thought I knew what I was talking about
Now I am more adulter but I also barely remember what exactly happened
that said, I’m always up for Xelloss discourse even if I’m flying blind, and I at least remember what I was TRYING to say
okay, fair enough, subtitles weren’t accurate there and he really did technically not lie because of indirect phrasing, which is absolutely delightful on its own, I like that kind of thing a lot – but he did immediately say to Lina at least something along the lines of “wow, you sure are quick to trust a stranger”, making sure to MAKE her suspicious of him even if his lie was good enough and she wasn’t before
tricksters of the type I was thinking of generally rely on being good actors and using the entire situation to set up people assuming exactly what they want and not being suspicious of them. Yes, they might not use the directly untrue phrasing, but everything else in the circumstances works in favor of the ‘implied’ version of events.
Xelloss… does not do that.
Also, what was wrong with the third example? UGH WHY DID I NOT LINK IT oh well, whatever
Really, that I thought he didn’t lie directly was more or less secondary to my whole point of him Not Fitting The Trope in that he is GENERALLY HONEST AND A BAD ACTOR
and it’s not absolute! he can manage a lie and he can be dishonest, because he’s much more human and much less rigid than you’d expect from what he is
and that’s a delightful part of it – Xelloss does not have 20+ Cha so he succeeds at every interaction he attempts and maintains a steady image of what he does and does not do
the only consistent thing is that, again, he undermines his own lies and does not put a lot of work into maintaining them, and generally either can’t or won’t conceal his emotional reactions
and that’s adorable