Mokkania reminisced. It was another old memory.
He was once seeing a woman. She took personal care of him ever since he became an Armed Librarian. He couldn’t even remember her name now.
One day, he ate a meal with her. She was the one to invite him. This happened after the battle with Guinbex, when Bantorra Library was peaceful once again.
“You’ve been acting strange lately, so it made me wonder.”
The woman said as they finished drinking their aperitif. Right, it was from the time that Mokkania frequently skipped on work.
“This is a nice place. This island is pretty small, but it still has lots of nice places like this.”
Working made him nauseous. He felt nauseous when seeing the faces of Hamyuts, Mattalast and Ireia. He even hated contacting them.
“Oh right, Acting Director Hamyuts gave me a day off. We can leave the island and go travel.”
If he didn’t go to work, everything should have been fine. But he still felt nauseous even now. Was the aperitif bad? Couldn’t be. Still, he felt terribly nauseous.
“How about theatre-going in Fulbeck? Heard of it? Fulbeck, in Ismo. It has streets lined up with theatres and cinema, and since there’re also film studios nearby, many famous actors and singers gather there.”
Mokkania noticed something. He understood the too-obvious fact that everyone around him knew. This fact, which everyone took for granted, gnawed at his mind.
“You hate the theatre? Then let’s go relax in some Ronan summer resort. I thought about visiting your hometown.
Or should we be adventurous and go to the southern frontier?”
He could kill himself. The same goes for the woman in front of him, the waiter nearby, the cook, and everyone else. He could do it effortlessly and painlessly, just like twisting the arm of a newborn.
Mokkania began vomiting in front of her.
While groveling on the floor, he thought of many things. For example, how did he endure this until now? He also thought of the many people walking in front of him… will one of them be able to kill him?
A while after this, Mokkania couldn’t go outside.
His ants were scraping the walls. They dug through soil and shaped it. This happened inside the dead-end of the Fifth Labyrinth. Mokkania built his own base there. He attached the door to the cave opened in the wall. As he installed the hinges, he heard a voice from behind.
It was Ireia.
“Are you really going to live here? Why?”
“Go back. Don’t mind me.”
“I can’t do that. What will the Acting Director say?”
Hamyuts appeared from behind her.
“Let’s leave him alone, old lady.”
“What are you saying as the Director of Bantorra Library?”
“I’m staying silent as always. If he has any complaints he’ll let me know.”
Hamyuts beckoned Ireia. She turned around and moved away from Mokkania.
“See ya, Mokkania. Try not to catch a cold.”
Books that people wanted to read were brought out from the Archive, while Books that came from the mines or Books that people finished reading were carried inside. Days like these passed in the exact same way inside the cold Labyrinth.
However, as long as Mokkania stayed inside, he didn’t feel nauseous.
The coldness was nothing compared to the fear induced by that nausea.
He received Books from the normal librarians at the Library’s entrance and went back to his room.
Mokkania muttered as he returned to his room.
He muttered once more. There was obviously no answer.
Mokkania kept living by himself inside that cold room.
He decided on asking people to buy things for him. He bought dirt-cheap paintings of landscape and small toys; he collected a variety of items.
The room was a copy of the one Mokkania used to live in long ago. He collected the exact items that were in in that long-gone room. He never got anything he didn’t have before. He didn’t want even things like a heater only because he didn’t use to have it.
Mokkania collected many things in his room.
However, there was one thing he lacked. A single important thing he couldn’t get no matter what.
Mokkania returned to his room even today. He had plenty of important memorabilia. But those didn’t provide any stability to his mind.
He could only notice the absence – the overwhelming absence of the most important person to him.
Mokkania said. No reply came back.
He said once again. No reply came back.
Only the small Book fragment on top of the table coldly greeted Mokkania.
Mirepoc and Mattalast were left in front of the Labyrinth. Mirepoc held her head.
She shook her head.
They had only one conclusive chance of victory. They already had no other means. Even if they were to gather up all their remaining forces and commence an attack on Mokkania, they doubted it would have any effect. It would only unnecessarily increase the damage.
They could only entrust it all for Hamyuts.
At that moment, Mattalast suddenly opened his mouth.
“Since we can’t do anything here, why don’t you contact the Present Management Agency?”
Mirepoc was confused at this out-of-place order. What good will the Present Management Agency do in this situation?
“I just need a permission. From both the Past Overseer and the Present Overseer.”
Mirepoc tried to ask him what kind of permission he’s asking for.
“We’re going to seal the Book Labyrinth.”
“…Is such a thing possible?”
“It is. Look.”
Saying so, Mattalast put his hand on the Labyrinth’s door. And through the door, he called to Past God Bantorra who was sealed in the depths of the Labyrinth.
“To the Past God Bantorra. Mattalast Ballory, with the authority of a first-class Armed Librarian, requests for the sealing of the large gate as well as the 89 barriers inside the Fifth Level. I implore to receive permission and immediate execution of this request.”
The door shone for a moment. They received permission from the Past God. At the same time, its shape changed. The hinges and door knob disappeared, and it all became just a part of the wall.
“So such a thing is truly possible…”
“This is actually not under my authority to do so, but I’ll just get ex-post-facto approval afterwards.”
“But why? The battle isn’t over yet…”
Mattalast’s voice wasn’t aloof like usual.
“…We will starve everyone inside to death.”
“If the Director loses this is our only chance.”
“But the Director will win!”
Mirepoc said, but Mattalast shook his head to the side.
“It might not be so this time.”
“Oh my, they sealed the Labyrinth.”
Hamyuts muttered as she used her full speed to run through the Fourth Labyrinth.
“Well, that’s fine. It seems like something Matt would do.”
Hamyuts, who had already set foot inside the Fourth Level, proceeded further in while killing the remaining Guardian Beasts. The ants didn’t reach there yet.
The situation was bad indeed. Currently Hamyuts had no way to win against Mokkania. If she wouldn’t be able to get that weapon, her defeat will be certain.
Mokkania slowly progressed. He was walking much slower than Hamyuts. She already went deep inside the Fourth Labyrinth, but Mokkania just now passed through the Fifth Level.
Hamyuts ran ahead without stop. But that didn’t mean Mokkania was in a better position.
Run away from enemies, hide yourself, wait for a chance of victory – this was Hamyuts’s strategy for a certain victory. Mokkania could be said to be inferior to her from the moment he let her escape.
Mokkania was thinking to himself – that what made Hamyuts the strongest wasn’t the power of her sling or the information-gathering capabilities of her Sensory Threads, but that shameless strategy.
In fact, Cigal Crukessa of the Indulging God Cult whom Hamyuts once beat was the only person able to prevent her from running away.
While fearing for his mother that swayed on his back, Mokkania kept walking inside the Fourth Labyrinth.
I won’t let her escape. I’ll definitely defeat her before she gets that weapon.
Winkeny gloated in his heart while sliding about in his petroleum form.
He was helped by the enemy making some blunders, but overall the plan kept going just as he thought it would.
Both the eliminated Armed Librarians as well as the Book which was a cause for concern were already taken far away. All of it was expected. Mokkania, Hamyuts, the rest of the Armed Librarians and even the Guardian Beasts all acted according to what Winkeny thought.
Except for Mokkania’s mother, Winkeny was without any doubt the weakest person in the Labyrinth. That he was not affected by Mokkania attacks didn’t mean he could beat him. He couldn’t defeat neither Hamyuts nor the foolish Noloty – no, he couldn’t even beat a single Guardian Beast.
Yet everyone in the Labyrinth moved the way he pleased. Was there anything more delightful than that in the world?
The incident was comparable to chess. Hamyuts was the white queen. Mokkania was the black queen. The rest of the Armed Librarians were the white bishops, knights and pawns. Locolo was a black pawn. Finally, Winkeny himself wasn’t a chess piece. He was the guiding hand playing the match.
But even so, he couldn’t control everything on the board. There were game pieces that didn’t necessarily listen to their instructions; Feekiee was such an example.
Winkeny thought of Locolo – will his pawn really listen to the player’s instructions?
“Please, Locolo. Keep it up until Hamyuts’s last breath, just a little bit.”
Locolo fell to his knees. His body was wounded here and there and he barely had any bullets left in his gun. In front of his eyes were the corpses of Guardian Beasts.
“Goddamn. Winkeny gave me quite the bothersome job.”
He was at the Fourth Level. Further down were three more levels with even stronger Guardian Beasts in them. No, because it seems that no human could enter the First Level, were there actually only two more? It was still tough nonetheless. Armed Librarians really were all monsters.
“…Just a little bit more.”
He wondered if their scheme went as planned. If he wasn’t successful in keeping Hamyuts at bay, he would have been chased by her without any doubt.
Locolo tried cheering up himself. Just a bit more. When he gets his hands on that weapon, he wouldn’t have to fear the Guardian Beasts, and he should be even able to beat Hamyuts Meseta.
If he defeats her, he could ascend. He would definitely do so – ascend to Heaven.
He would become a Book and then, together with the great True Men, ascend to the place the Supreme God brought forth – to Heaven.
Locolo Bobuts was a warrior from the Indulging God Cult. This plan was an unexpected chance for him.
Even among the Indulging God Cult, his battle prowess wasn’t that high. If he were to fight an Armed Librarian up front he wouldn’t be able to win. As a warrior, he was below third-rate.
One day, Winkeny contacted him all of a sudden. He said he had to have another warrior who would cooperate with his plan.
Locolo had always looked down on Winkeny. He could only turn his body to Petroleum. He didn’t have any means of attack. He would burn out if a single matchstick was thrown at him. He was the weakest in the Indulging God Cult.
However, he had some chance of success. Winkeny said that he could manipulate Mokkania.
“How will you do that?”
“I can’t discuss the entirety of my plan. In general, I plan on creating an impostor of Mokkania’s mother and control him like that.”
“Will that really work?”
“If you act according to my plan, it is possible.”
Locolo was hesitant. However, if he would simply follow orders from those above, ascending to Heaven would be difficult. He thought that going for a full reversal wouldn’t be so bad.
Winkeny did not reveal his plan to Locolo. He just sent him instructions. He snuck inside Bantorra Library dressed as an adventurer and kept in touch with Noloty as he was told to.
And he was then ordered to take a single woman along with him and bring her to meet with Mokkania.
“This is Mokkania’s mother, Renas Fleur. Until you reach Mokkania’s place, protect her from the Guardian Beasts.”
“…Is that the impostor? Isn’t she too young?”
“It’s fine. His real mother died while young. The mother in Mokkania’s heart should still be of that age.”
The large man wondered if that woman would betray them to the Armed Librarians. However, he couldn’t draw things any longer. While still anxious, he infiltrated the Labyrinth.
“Escorting her this far is fine. Wait right here.”
Saying so, Winkeny took Renas along with him. Locolo didn’t know what sort of conversation occurred between them and Mokkania. As he didn’t speak to Renas he also didn’t know what she was thinking.
Soon after, Mokkania’s revolt began.
“Unbelievable. He really betrayed them.”
“It was obvious.”
Winkeny said calmly. Locolo burst with laughter.
“Unbelievable. A grown man still obeys his mother. And she’s not even his real one. Tell me, what kind of magic have you used?”
“Let’s head to the back. Your job starts from here.”
Without answering his question, Winkeny urged Locolo to continue ahead.
Locolo was thinking – at the end of the day they probably seduced him. He had no idea what kind of a guy Mokkania was, but there’s no reason that he wouldn’t be swayed by such a beautiful woman. Making her introduce herself as his mother was the most effective against a momma’s boy like him.
But perhaps Winkeny was the one being seduced by Renas to betray the Indulging God Cult? That Renas woman and Winkeny… well, it would be quite the accomplishment.
Locolo rose up. I have to do my job. Only then I can defeat Hamyuts Meseta and go to Heaven.
Locolo was fleeing from the herd of Guardian Beasts coming from behind. Passing through the entrance to the Fourth Labyrinth, he reached the Fourth Archive. It was meant to store Books on the level of state secrets.
Just before they caught up to him, Locolo passed the gate. Guardian Beasts couldn’t fight inside the Archives. They were barking regretfully as they watched Locolo escape their clutches.
“Serves you right…”
Locolo sighed and closed the door of the Archive.
The Books housed inside were of a level that a single copy of would grab a fortune, such as those of people who breached the mysteries of Magic; all of them were precious Books. However, without any of them interesting Locolo, he kept looking for his objective.
It should be in this Archive. It was one of the world’s treasures that was taken away from the Indulging God Cult.
He thought it would be hidden somewhere, but surprisingly it was carelessly placed on top of one of the bookshelves. Locolo touched it.
It was a realistic stone statue made in the form of a spider. Putting it on the back of his hand, the eight legs opened up and bit into Locolo. A blade as thin as yarn extended from the spider’s rear.
The Ever-Laughing Magic Blade Shlamuffen began laughing in Locolo’s hand.
This was the most important job handed to him by Winkeny.
He was to not let Hamyuts get her hands on the Ever-Laughing Magic Blade Shlamuffen. It was a weapon essential for her to oppose Mokkania. Winkeny’s side would win if they could get it.
Locolo started smiling. The laughter of both Shlamuffen and his overlapped. He was convinced in his victory.