It was a while after the incident ended.
Mirepoc was writing a report. It detailed about them defeating the man calling himself Lascall Othello. Also about them not being able to recover the stone sword that was thought to be creating Books. The report was then conveyed to Hamyuts.
“Well then, you’ve worked hard. But now it’s over.”
“Yes. Thank you.”
“Those who pursue Lascall will die… With this that legend will also be over.”
Right, it’s over. With this it ends. Mattalast blew smoke while thinking. It was a good smoke the likes of which he didn’t have in a long time.
Let us go back in time, to a few minutes after Mirepoc settled the score with Lascall. A girl appeared in front of Mattalast. She seemed to be older than ten. She wore a fresh blue one-piece dress.
“The match has been safely concluded.”
Without being perturbed at all, Mattalast smoked his pipe.
“What about Mirepoc?”
“She is in good health.”
The girl grinned widely.
“She is probably not suspecting anything.”
“Yes. Nevertheless, losing on purpose is quite the difficult thing to do. I have no such function.”
Mattalast spoke to the girl.
“Seems like I’ve put you through a lot of trouble… Lascall Othello.”
The girl – Lascall Othello – smiled. During the fight Mirepoc said that she had unmasked Lascall. However, she was mistaken. Lascall was the one to put a disguise – the disguise of a man who took the name of Lascall.
“You’ve shrunken quite a lot, Lascall Othello.”
“Yes. Since I have taken a liking to that form, it is a pity. However, since that was your intention, it could not be helped.”
“Well then, farewell to you. Until the time we shall meet again.”
There was no need to speak of this to Mirepoc. Everything ended just as Mattalast had planned.
Mattalast went outside and left Mirepoc to write her report. His destination was the morgue in the basement of the Central Security Bureau, where Rully’s corpse laid.
When Mattalast stepped inside the silent room, he heard a sound.
“Is it over, Mattalast?”
Inside were only the boy’s remains.
“Yeah. It’s over.”
“A single man who adorned the name of Lascall Othello… is how it was concluded.”
“That is good. It means we have protected the secret.”
Saying so, Rully’s corpse rose.
“You did a good job… Overseer of Paradise.”
Rully grew taller and became a man. Just as before, Mattalast could see the man but not remember his appearance.
“It was a splendid performance. You are certain to get this year’s best supporting actor award.”
“Well, I’m not bad at acting. I’m quite confident in my performance this time.”
The Overseer of Paradise laughed and got off the cold bed.
“There were also some parts you overdid. Especially when you adlibbed your dying words.”
The Overseer of Paradise shrugged as if saying ‘give me a break’.
“However, the most wonderful of all was your script. It was truly well-thought.”
He said. But Mattalast wasn’t happy at being praised at all.
“When I’ve first heard your story I was about to burst into laughter.
Lascall Othello’s identity was that of a mere man. And his tender son was looking for him. Where did such a fabrication come from?”
“It’s all talent. I am a liar, after all.”
“Thanks to that, Mirepoc was completely deceived. That lie was bold enough.”
“…The truth is hidden within the lie. This is how you usually do it.”
The Overseer of Paradise passed by Mattalast as he headed for the exit.
“Well then, our pleasant drama is now ended. From now on we are once again enemies.”
“Yeah. We will never do such a thing again.”
He liked to think so. He never thought that to save Mirepoc he would borrow the help of the enemy leader.
“This incident had a wonderful happy end. You did not have to lose Mirepoc and we erased a traitor.
And the truth about Lascall Othello is once again buried in the darkness. All will agree it was flawless.”
As he said so, Mattalast drew his gun. A dry gunshot resounded in the silent morgue. The bullet that was supposed to hit slipped through the Overseer of Paradise and destroyed the wall behind him.
“But don’t forget, Mattalast. While we are hostile, in a certain sense we will always be collaborators.”
“To conceal the location of Heaven. On this one point, we shall continue to cooperate with you.”
It was as he said. The Cult and the Armed Librarians have always protected a certain secret.
It was that day seven years ago.
There were two men besides Parney’s corpse. They were the Overseer of Paradise and the faceless man. Lascall Othello had recovered her Book and disappeared.
“So it’s over now. She was a pitiful woman.”
The faceless man said.
“What will you do from now?”
Said the Overseer of Paradise.
“We’ve gotten rid of Haiza. We will continue the investigation of Lascall Othello for a bit longer.”
“Is that fine? They might reach the truth about him.”
“The possibility is low. Besides, suddenly ending the investigation might cause suspicions later.”
“It would be fine to let Mattalast or Hamyuts terminate the investigation when one of them becomes Acting Director.”
“If you think so then that is good.”
“With this, Lascall should once again fade into a legend.”
The faceless man said so and left. The Overseer of Paradise spoke to his back.
“If something happens again we shall ask you for help. We just have a shortage of manpower.”
“It’s a promise. As long as you bastards don’t challenge us to a fight, that is.”
The Overseer of Paradise also left.
The faceless man took off his mask. The face underneath it was that of a boy around seventeen years old.
However, his hair was as gray as if he was eighty, and his expression was as sharp as that of an old lion.
He was Bantorra Library’s Acting Director, Photona Bardgamon. In two years from that time he will concede his position to Hamyuts.
When Mattalast returned, Mirepoc already turned off the lights in her room. He opened a bottle of whiskey in his room and drank a glassful straight from the bottle.
“Those who search for Lascall die, huh…”
Mattalast was thinking. It is no lie, Mirepoc.
Because if you were able to reach the truth you would have died.
I had no other means.
My mission is to conceal the truth about Lascall. And also to erase all those who know of it.
Hamyuts had decided to kill you. She said that you have an unbelievably sharp intuition. That you should be able to reach the truth about him someday.
I objected to it. I said that I would deceive you in order to save you. If I failed my duty I would have been killed as well. Hamyuts is a woman who is able to do that.
It was a difficult task.
I borrowed the help of the Overseer of Paradise and even that of Lascall Othello and tricked you. Was I able to fully deceive you? I’d like to think so.
To save a single girl. I could only accomplish that mission by deceiving you. I truly am a man unfitting to be a hero.
While thinking so, as he poured whiskey into a glass, Lascall Othello appeared.
Lascall pinched the hem of her skirt and bowed. A girl that suddenly appears in the darkness wasn’t very pleasant for him.
“Have you not been thinking that you would like to meet me?”
She was sharp. He certainly did want to meet with her. There was something he wanted to ask.
“I have one last question. Just who are you?”
“Hasn’t she told you about me? Hamyuts-sama, I mean.”
“But I still want to ask. I want to hear everything clearly from your mouth.”
Lascall started speaking.
“My identity is an easy matter. It is this.”
Saying so, Lascall showed him the stone sword.
“The Memorial Weapon, Passed Stone Blade Yor. I am this tiny sword.
I have the strongest will amongst the Memorial Weapons. My function is to grant continuation to the stories of people. To bring forth a future for those stories that have ceased by death.
I am to allow stories to continue without distinguishing between good or evil, the wise or the foolish. That is my function.
The story of the girl who loved a bomb. The story of a boy who wanted to become a monster. The story of the girl whom the boys have protected. The story of the warriors who swore their allegiance to a foolish master. The stories of foolish people who wished for happiness.
I bring a conclusion to these tales. That is my function.”
“Does that mean everything is in your hands?”
“Surely not. I am a mere blade. I cannot create stories.
Comedies and tragedies are all created by humans.
Exceeding their predetermined fate, or breaking under the misfortune given to them, the only ones capable of spinning tales are humans.”
“Why did you become a subordinate of the Indulging God Cult?”
“I am somewhat reluctant to be called a subordinate. I merely assist them.
The people who wish for the perfect happiness, and the man who assembles all of the world’s happiness… I want to watch the conclusion to their story.
Good, evil, order or chaos are but trivial things to me.”
“Those who pursue Lascall Othello will die. That legend was entirely made by humans. It is a pretense created by those who wish to conceal the Indulging God Cult and its members.
Mirepoc danced to the tune of that pretense, Alme was deceived by it, and you control it.
People create pretenses and people are set in motion by these pretenses. Then, what these people bring forth are tales.
Yes, since the very beginning stories could only have been created by humans.”
Just as when she did as she came, Lascall bowed gracefully.
“Goodbye, Mattalast. I wish for your story to end in happiness.”
One person was left in the darkness.
Only the smoke rising from his pipe was slowly, slowly swaying.