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Recap / Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Phantom Blood A Letter From The Past

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Seven years have passed since Dio Brando was adopted into Jonathan Joestar's family. Both boys have grown into young men, stars of their university's rugby team as they are on the cusp of graduating at the top of their class, with Jonathan already a respected authority in the field of archaeology while Dio graduates valedictorian with a degree in law. By all accounts, the two adoptive brothers are as close as brothers can be...but in truth, neither one holds any affection for the other: Jonathan continues to live in fear of Dio after the callous death of his dog Danny, while Dio sees Jonathan as little more than an obstacle in his personal quest to take the Joestar family fortune for himself.

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Sadly, amidst the news of their final victory in rugby before graduation, not all is well in the Joestar family: George, the boys' father, has taken ill. What at first seemed to be little more than the common cold has only gotten worse with time, leaving Jonathan concerned...

In his spare time, Jonathan had thrown himself into researching one of his family's treasures: a stone mask. As had happened during his last major brawl with Dio, Jonathan notices that when the mask comes into contact with blood, stony tendrils extend backwards from it, leading him to speculate that it was an ancient method of execution.

While looking for a book to aid in his research, however, Jonathan unearths an old letter from Dio's father, Dario. In the letter, Dario mentions that he had taken ill. Shockingly, the symptoms Dario described were exactly the same ones George was suffering from. This could only mean one thing: Dio had murdered Dario with poison, and was attempting to do the same with his father!

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Jonathan goes to confront Dio about the "medicine" that he had been giving George, and asks to inspect it. Dio attempts to intimidate Jonathan into submission, but Jonathan will not back down: he offers to let the matter slide on the sole condition that Dio swore, on the honor of his own father, that he was not attempting to poison George. The thought of his own father, an abusive drunk who drove his mother to an early grave and made his own life miserable, having any honor drives Dio into a rage and causes him to lash out, which only makes Jonathan that much more certain of Dio's devious intentions.

After placing his father George in the care of only a handful of trusted physicians, Jonathan sets out to find the origins of the poison Dio had been giving his father. The journey would take three days, during which Dio resolves to find a way to kill Jonathan once and for all.

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Jonathan's journey eventually leads him to Ogre Street, a notorious slum where the Far Eastern apothecary who had made the poison could be found. It is in this dark alley that Jonathan encounters a gang of cutpurses, led by Robert E.O. Speedwagon. Speedwagon and his cohorts attack Jonathan, but Jonathan manages to fend them off with ease. To Speedwagon's surprise, even though Jonathan had the build of a rugby player and possessed strength enough to put him in a hospital, neither he nor his men were seriously injured. Jonathan explains that he was trying to help his father, and that he didn't want to cause undue grief upon the families of Speedwagon and his men. Impressed by Jonathan's kindness and honor, Speedwagon offers his aid to Jonathan's cause.

Meanwhile, Dio concocts a plan to assassinate Jonathan: by placing the stone mask on Jonathan's face and activating it with blood, he could make Jonathan's death appear to be a research accident, with no one being any wiser. His anxiety over the prospect of Jonathan undoing his plot, however, drives him to liquor, with Dio being dismayed that he was truly becoming his father's son...

While drinking out in the streets at night, Dio encounters a pair of unruly men. Deciding to use them as guinea pigs for his plot, Dio stabs one of them to death, then uses his victim's blood to activate the stone mask after placing it on the other man's face. As he suspected, the mask's stone tendrils jutted out, piercing his victim through the skull and killing him...

...or so it seems. The "victim" of the stone mask stands once more, baring elongated fangs. With strength far greater than that of ordinary men, this newly-minted vampire attacks Dio, burying his fingers in Dio's neck and siphoning his blood. It is only by the light of the rising sun that Dio is spared while the vampire's body is reduced to ash.

Afterwards, Dio returns to the Joestar manor. Unfortunately for him, Jonathan had returned beforehand, with proof of his crimes...

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