Colio who fell to the floor couldn’t move. His legs froze. His mind became blank.
“Kill Hamyuts Meseta.”
“Kill Hamyuts Meseta.”
Those words were bubbling inside his consciousness.
In front of his eyes was Hamyuts Meseta. Colio existed to kill her.
However, his fingers that should have crushed the vacuum tube were just trembling next to his body.
“Were you expecting a scarier person?”
Colio thought about moving his fingers.
Why won’t they move? Why are his fingers trembling and his legs paralyzed?
Was it because Hamyuts was scary? Or was it because he never practiced reaching his bomb?
Move your fingers and activate the bomb. You’re a bomb.
Kill Hamyuts Meseta. Kill Hamyuts Meseta.
Colio could feel his mind being full to the brim with those words.
“Well then… I have a question. Where’s Cigal Crukessa?”
“I don’t know…”
Why are you answering? Colio scolded himself. More importantly, activate the bomb and kill Hamyuts.
But, if he’ll die he won’t be able to…
Be able to…
“Or it can’t be that you’re actually Cigal Crukessa?”
“No. I don’t know him.”
Colio asked himself- why? He shouldn’t hesitate like this…
“So, Colio-kun. Where’s Cigal?”
“I don’t know.”
“Do you know how Cigal looks?”
“You haven’t met him?”
Hamyuts seemed to be surprised. She scratched the tip of her nose, and then said the following words.
“By the way, Colio-kun. Aren’t you supposed to kill me?”
“Haha. I see. So that’s how you are.”
Her wide smile seemed terrifying to Colio instead of calming.
His heart kept shouting loudly to kill Hamyuts. However, his body just wouldn’t listen. It ignored the battle instructions and just trembled uselessly.
Probably wondering about Colio’s fear, Hamyuts got near his face while being defenseless.
At a distance he could feel her breath on his face, Hamyuts said,
“Well, let’s calmly get to business. Colio-kun. Show me Shiron’s Book.”
“You know. You have it, right?”
“Show me Shiron Booyacornish’s Book.”
Colio asked. It was an unfamiliar name. But he had a feeling he knew who it belonged to.
“Here it is.”
Hamyuts went a step forward. And within a touching distance, she said,
“I’m confiscating it.”
It was strange.
Those words recovered his composure.
Strong feelings of not wanting to lose that Book rose within Colio.
His scared body retained its functions. His hand reflexively went to his chest. He forcefully made his fist touch the vacuum tube on top of his clothes.
Hamyuts saw Colio’s change. The dreadfulness hidden behind her smile increased.
“I won’t give it.”
“If you’ll try to take it, I’ll explode together with you.”
“Together? Double suicide?”
“I don’t mind whatever it is. I won’t give you that Book.”
Hamyuts stared at Colio.
“You sure are rebellious. If you do that, you’ll make your big sister here very sad. Just don’t call me an aunty instead because of my age.”
Hamyuts was fooling around. Colio returned a determined glare.
“No. I won’t give it up.”
“So show it to me. Just showing it should be fine.”
“…I won’t give it up.”
Colio shook his head. Hamyuts’s smile started looking angry little by little.
“What are you thinking?”
While thinking of an answer, Colio started slightly questioning himself. Hamyuts decided that was enough for her. No, maybe she didn’t need any opening in the first place.
In a second, she secured both of his hands. His body was turned around and she twisted his arms and elbows above his back. Until the moment he raised his voice due to the pain, Colio couldn’t understand what was happening.
“…I’ll break them.”
“…I won’t give it up.”
Colio answered. Hamyuts spoke in a slightly troubled tone.
“What are you thinking? Do you want the Dragon Pneumonia to spread?”
He clenched his teeth due to the pain in his wrists. He was already accustomed to pain. More importantly, some determination from an unknown origin was moving his body.
“I don’t know. I don’t know about that thing. I won’t give you this girl’s Book!”
At that moment, just when he thought his hands became free, his neck was turned around. It seemed a large rope was wrapped around it.
When he thought he felt it tightening, Colio’s consciousness sank into darkness.
“Boy. Wake up.”
He heard Hamyuts’s voice. Colio had been laid on the bed. Hamyuts was on the next bed – probably the one used by Hyoue – and peeked at his face.
“Hey. I don’t understand the situation at all. Did Cigal give you that Book?”
Hamyuts said. She held Calico Princess’s Book in her gloved left hand. She probably already checked its contents.
“…Give it back!”
“Can’t do. I need to store it at my Library.”
“I don’t care about that. Give it back.”
Hamyuts shrugged as if saying ‘Oh dear’.
“Well then, if you’ll answer my question, I’ll consider it a bit. Also, you can’t use your bomb. Before you’ll even move your fingers I’ll break your head.”
It didn’t seem to be an exaggeration.
From the feeling of her grabbing his wrist, he couldn’t think of her as human. Colio could also not perceive her speed. Before he could break the vacuum tube, Hamyuts would probably crush his skull.
Hamyuts Meseta was the world’s strongest person. Colio could feel her might with his whole body.
“…I bought the Book from an illegal Book seller. He put up his store in some back alley.”
Hamyuts raised a wild voice.
“Well then, wow. I can’t believe it. Is that actually true?”
“So, do you know about Cigal Crukessa? Or about Dragon Pneumonia?”
“…I only know a bit about Crukessa.”
“What is it?”
“I once heard that name. I don’t know much else.”
“And do you know about Dragon Pneumonia?”
Colio shook his head.
Colio nodded. Hamyuts seemed troubled.
“That’s quite the coincidence. But is that really it? You have Shiron Booyacornish’s Book after all.”
He wasn’t sure, but that was probably her name. That name seemed to fit her. It didn’t feel out of place. Calico Princess was, without doubt, Shiron Booyacornish. Finding out the name that he wanted to know so much, Colio started instinctively smiling.
“It’s scary when you suddenly smile like that.”
“…Shiron Booyacornish. So that was her name.”
“Did you by any chance not know who she was?”
“I feel like the situation is beyond my expectations…”
Saying this, Hamyuts suddenly rose up and went near the window.
“Hey, shall we go outside?”
As soon as she said that, Hamyuts got out through the window.
Colio ran and poked his face through the window, looking down.
He heard Hamyuts’s voice coming from above. Grabbed by his collar, Colio’s body was lifted. She lightly picked him up using only three of her fingers.
He was flung onto the creaking wooden roof.
“The view here is really bad.”
Hamyuts said. Colio didn’t feel intimidated from her like just before. She might have become less vigilant towards him.
“I wonder if you’ve fallen in love with her.”
He was surprised that she suddenly guessed this. But he didn’t know if it was true.
Despite not answering anything, she could understand by his expression. She snickered while looking at his face.
But suddenly, Hamyuts turned terrifying eyes towards the distance. Although her facial expression hadn’t changed, she turned from a meek and ordinary woman into a fiendish warrior.
“You may call me Hammy-san.”
Her tone was light, but she emanated a quiet intimidating feel. Her mouth was like that of a docile wild beast but her face had some anxiousness to it. His instincts made him want to scream, as if teaching him the overwhelming differences between them.
After about fifteen seconds, Hamyuts seemed to lose her tension.
“Probably just my imagination. For a moment there I thought someone was coming. Well, never mind.”
He couldn’t understand at all.
“Hamyuts Meseta. I want you to tell me about her. Who was Shiron?”
“I don’t see any need to tell you.”
“Please. I want you to tell me… I have to know about her no matter what.”
Hamyuts thought for a while.
“…Fine. I’ll talk. But what should I… oh.”
“Oh, I know what. I’ll tell you. That woman’s name was Shiron Booyacornish.
She was mostly known as the Ever-Laughing Witch.”
“Around 250 years ago, there was a widespread disease known as Dragon Pneumonia.”
“Is that even relevant?”
“At that time, Shiron Booyacornish was called a savior. She was honored by the title of Ever-Laughing Saint.
But, it was only for about a year.”
“Just a year?”
Hamyuts started narrating Shiron Booyacornish’s story with a slow tone.
In 1923, during the naval assault operation, Hamyuts found the fragment of a Book. Management of Books was her duty. She immediately recovered that fragment.
The owner of the Book was named Shiron Booyacornish. Her alias was the Ever-Laughing Witch. Even now, it was one of the most hated names in the world.
She had strange hair, like the fur of a tortoiseshell cat.
She had a calm and noble face.
She wielded the invincible Shlamuffen.
Contrary to her terrible doings, she was a beautiful, lovely girl.
The era she lived in was around 280 years ago.
One day, at the Rona Kingdom, the fossil of a large crystal was found. Trapped inside it was the corpse of an ancient dragon.
It was valuable. The king loved it very much, and the fossil crystal became a national treasure.
But that was the beginning of the catastrophe signaling the downfall of the country.
First, the king died. After that the queen died, and following her all of their sons. One after another, the royal family died from illness as if decreed by the heavens.
Their symptoms were all the same.
A cough without any phlegm, the rapid decrease of body temperature, paralysis of the digestive system, and strange black bruises on the throat. Every medicine had the opposite effects from what was normal, and no matter how robust the patients’ bodies were, there were no signs of any natural healing. People were scared. That disease was supposed to be only a legend that became a mere fairy tale.
They called the disease Dragon Pneumonia.
It was a disease created from nothingness by Past God Bantorra during the end of the Paradise Era in order to defeat an evil dragon.
The illness was born from Bantorra, the governor of death, so its killing power was tremendous. The evil dragon was wiped out in an instant. However, as it was too strong, it started baring its fangs towards the people and the Gods as well. The Gods sealed the disease and sent the pathogen beyond the skies. As a consequence of his sin, the Past God was sealed inside the ground.
The pathogens of Dragon Pneumonia were supposedly gone from this world. However, that dragon was trapped inside the crystal while still carrying the disease.
Shortly after decimating the royalty, Dragon Pneumonia spread into the world. It was the God’s disease. It spread frighteningly fast.
People started panicking. Dragon Pneumonia carriers were either isolated or mercilessly killed.
After half a year, about a twelfth of the population died, and the disease spread to a fifth of the world.
It was then that she had appeared from somewhere.
Her name was Shiron Booyacornish.
She was a peculiar woman who had a powerful magical affinity and a strange colored hair; a strange woman who never stopped smiling cheerfully for an instant.
Shiron gave medicine to those who suffered from Dragon Pneumonia. Everyone doubted her sanity. People shouldn’t have had any cure for the disease created by a God.
But the cure was real. The sick that were administered this drug made a full recovery in a matter of days.
When people asked where the medicine came from,
“From a thousand years in the future.”
Is what Shiron answered.
Her prediction ability was absolute and unprecedented. Until then there was not even a person who could see a hundred years ahead, and she already exceeded that by a tenfold.
Shiron said that in a thousand years men would become able to change the immunity system itself using the power of science.
Using that technology, creating a wonder drug for Dragon Pneumonia was simple.
Nobody could understand the scientific principles behind it, but the fact that the wonder drug existed was easy to understand.
Shiron built her own pharmaceutical factory, and began making and selling the drug.
The ingredients were not known in the present.
Although the medicine was quite expensive, it wasn’t what most people worried about. All of the rich people began buying it, and those who were good hearted also gave it to the poor.
The kings, the nobles, the priests, the Armed Librarians, all praised and revered her as a saint.
They gave her all kinds of gifts and prestigious titles.
Shiron was named the Ever-Laughing Saint.
The fragment of the Book depicting the Shiron of that time was left on the boat of the Indulging God Cult.
Hamyuts had already read it.
A wide room about as large as a dance hall was cluttered. On the walls, memos were firmly attached and on the floor were bundles of paper. Inside the bottles lined on the shelves were insects and other small animals that were still alive and wriggling while immersed in chemicals.
Shiron was wearing simple white clothes and looked at the inside of a flask.
A strange smile appeared on her face. It was a gentle and lovely smile but it somehow didn’t make one feel at ease.
Said a bald middle-aged man that could be seen next to her. He looked like a composed man with some status.
“Until now, we could only make about one every ten minutes, but with this method, our work efficiency can be five hundred times more than that.”
Shiron returned the flask to the holder and plugged it. And then she took various items from the shelves and arranged them on the desk.
“Then I’ll make 1000 portions for today.”
The bald man then talked to her.
“Ever-Laughing Saint. I have said this countless times, but if you will give me the formula, I can also make the cure. I ask you to rest. Lately, you have been sleeping at neither day nor night.”
“…No. It is fine. You will be too busy helping me.”
“That is not good, you mustn’t be so rash, it is a waste.”
The bald man insisted.
“I appreciate your sentiments.”
Shiron replied coldly. The bald man tried pressing her more.
“I cannot allow this. Do you not understand? If something were to happen to you, the world might come to its end.”
“I’m fine. Your lives are more important.”
“No, that’s not what I meant…”
The bald man tried begging.
“I implore you. Please give us the formula.”
“I ask your pardon. It is troubling.”
“We are the ones troubled! Please give it to me!”
Shiron stopped her hand that put medicines on the scales and pointed with one finger at a notebook on the floor.
“Look inside of that.”
The man immediately took the notebook.
“I will copy this down! Let me burrow it for a while.”
He walked away with heavy steps.
When the bald man was gone, Shiron’s smile immediately vanished.
“Oh dear, that won’t do.”
At that moment, a voice resounded from empty air. The voice spoke towards Shiron.
“I told you. The remedy is an absolute secret. Those who know of it must die.”
The Magician Wyzaf appeared. Shiron replied to him,
“I am aware of that. The book is a fake.”
Wyzaf made a forced loud cry and hit his forehead while laughing.
“What a terrible misunderstanding.”
The tweezers fell from Shiron’s hands.
“It can’t be!”
“It was because I was careless.”
Without listening to Wyzaf’s words, Shiron started running. But, Wyzaf who was stalking her like a shadow whispered to her.
“It is useless. He was erased.”
Shiron, who was about to open the door, stopped.
“It seems you did not foresee this conclusion.”
Shiron stood and covered her face.
“In your habit of looking a thousand years forward, you became distant to what is nearby. That is your nature.”
With the voice of laughter, Wyzaf’s voice grew distant.
Incidentally, the man killed was the Chancellor of the Great Yubeon Kingdom of the time.