Inside the flying boat, Olivia hit her forehead with her fingertips and kept thinking.
“The Spinning Doll… Vend Ruga… Vend Ruga…”
She spoke those keywords to herself. She was trying to remember them.
“Does it seem like you’re going to remember?”
“Barely. I feel like I will but I just can’t do it.”
“Why don’t you try undergoing the Magic Deliberation? You should be able to use Magic to counteract the memory erasure made by Argax.”
Olivia shook her head.
“The Magic Deliberation has almost ended already. I can only try to recall everything now. But I just can’t recall it. This shit’s pissing me off.”
Olivia was annoyed. Volken thought that if she weren’t to show him that face she would have been pretty, and that it was unlike him to think so.
“Olivia-san. I don’t know what your goals are. I don’t know what is this Vend Ruga you’re looking for. I don’t know what is the Magic you and the Meats you were leading put inside the Spinning Doll. I don’t even know why Hamyuts wants to kill you.
I don’t know anything as long as you don’t remember it.”
“Dammit, you’re really useless aren’t you?”
Volken felt unpleasant by her way of speaking. However, he also knew that she was that kind of person.
“The Spinning Doll Ückück… Just what have I been doing?”
Olivia gritted her teeth. Then she held her head again.
At that time, the first obstacle was about to appear in Volken’s path. A single airplane was flying towards Bantorra. Its entire crew was a single man in the cockpit.
He was talking to Mirepoc using her Thought Sharing.
‘These are the instructions from the Director.’
‘Understood, Mirepoc. I will change my course. I don’t know if Volken’s flying straight, but I will most likely be able to contact him.’
The one inside the aircraft was Armed Librarian Vizac Ziglass. He was over forty years old. Both his age and the length of his career were second only to Ireia Kitty. It’s been five years since he started murmuring about retirement. All those who became Armed Librarians at the same time as him were already retired. Those who didn’t were dead. In exchange for him overusing his body for such a long time, he looked older than his age. His face was wrinkled and his fine, black beard had already turned white.
He wore unusual garments – such as an iron helmet. This kind of helmet was much more fitting to be in a museum rather than on an Armed Librarian’s head.
Vizac knew that he was behind the times. He also knew that he couldn’t keep up with young people who used new weapons and bizarre fighting techniques. The times were changing. Pure and simple warriors like Vizac were no longer prevalent.
The old helmet on his head was part of his sense of humor.
‘But thinking that Volken would betray us… What about you, Mirepoc? What do you think?’
Vizac asked Mirepoc, who was about half his age.
‘…I just can’t believe it.’
He could feel Mirepoc was shaken. Vizac made a small smile. She’s a smart girl, but still too young to not get affected like this.
‘What do you think, Vizac-san?’
‘Eh, I don’t have anything to do with him. Anyway, I’m only going to fight. It’s that simple.’
‘…I see. Umm, take care. Volken is strong.’
‘Don’t worry. I am also strong.’
‘Yes. Well then, good luck.’
The Thought Sharing was severed. Vizac then noticed that he broke into a grin.
“…Volken boy, aren’t you doing quite the bold move there?”
He muttered. Volken’s face then floated to his mind.
Vizac already knew.
Volken would never betray the Armed Librarians even if the sky was falling. He only carried the stigma of a traitor because there was something he just had to do.
“I have no clue what you’re trying to accomplish, but do it to your heart’s content. After all, you can’t lose to some small fry like me.”
There were several hours until the expected time for contact Mirepoc told him. Vizac kept merrily flying the airplane.
Olivia suddenly opened her mouth.
“Hey, I don’t really mind being the subject, but why don’t you talk about yourself?”
“I know nothing about you. Why are you helping me? Tell me.”
That’s certainly true. Please excuse me, thought Volken.
“It will be quite the lengthy talk. Is that all right?”
“Of course it is, just talk already.”
She truly has a bad mouth. While thinking this, Volken started talking.
Volken’s rebellion. Its origins lay in the Allow Bay Naval Assault Incident two years ago. Ever since that day when their fight with the Indulging God Cult began, his rebellion also did.
1923, the 12th of October.
That day had been nicely clear. Five Armed Librarians stood on the coast and were staring at a ship caught inside the bay. The bay’s entrance was blocked by several ships sailed by other Armed Librarians. The targeted ship, the White Smoke, had nowhere to escape.
“Don’t be so nervous, Mirepo.”
“You too, Luimon-san.”
The two Armed Librarians behind Volken poked each other.
Volken, Mirepoc and Luimon. That day, the three novice Armed Librarians were given their first mission that wasn’t in the Labyrinth.
Hamyuts was the one to decide that they should give them plenty of work of all kinds as soon as possible.
Their enemy was an antigovernment organization that opposed the Ismo Republic. Originally this was not an enemy that Armed Librarians would fight against. They took over this operation because it was Hamyuts’s decision to actively intervene in world affairs.
Everyone thought that it would be an easy fight. Probably even Hamyuts.
“Well then, you all seem lively.”
Said Hamyuts. Among the novices, only Volken was calm. He controlled his own tension. He acquired that kind of training as well.
“As expected of Volken. You’re all relaxed… seems good.”
Hamyuts praised. As expected, Luimon muttered.
“But they’re just some terrorist group, so it’s not a big deal.”
One other Armed Librarian who was there opened him mouth. He was a man called Casma. He wore an old-fashioned robe from head to toes. However, his tone and behavior were light. He was a strange man.
“Well, this time it also serves as training for the newbies. They need to get experience while they’re still young.”
“We’ve been blessed with Armed Librarians lately. It was hard during Photona’s times.”
Casma spoke lightly.
“This time we have no detailed strategy!
Everyone just get on board and attack. You shouldn’t kill noncombatants. If you’re able to hold back you can also not kill combatants. These are the orders more or less. I will support you from here.”
A small fast ship came near the coast. Volken and the rest boarded it.
“Today’s assessment will reflect on your salary. Do your best, everyone.”
Hamyuts said. The fast ship started moving.
Even as Volken’s group approached, no attack came from the ship. It didn’t even try to escape.
Mirepoc said on the boat’s bow. The fact that there was no response when they were this close to the ship was strange. If they were going to give up resistance and surrender, they should have raised the white flag or sent some messenger.
“What do you think, Volken?”
Luimon asked. Volken answered.
“An enemy that doesn’t make any move when approached often has overwhelming defensive capabilities.
They are probably confident they can defend against our attack.”
Luimon spread both of his arms exaggeratingly.
“Hey now, they’re only a terrorist group. Aren’t you too cautious?”
Saying so, he drew the large rifle from his waist.
“Look. I will make them obedient with one shot.”
Luimon shot his gun as he spoke.
At that moment, something unbelievable happened. The shot bullet vanished in empty air as if it was some magic trick. The next moment, the bullet came back at the one who shot it.
Volken swept Luimon’s legs underneath him. The large body flipped over and fell. The bullet almost grazed him. Even though he was giant, even he wouldn’t be fine getting hit by his own gun.
“Did it rebound?”
“No, probably not.”
It didn’t hit some invisible wall. The trajectory was flipped by 180 degrees while in air. This was an ability that they have never seen or heard about before.
“Good, Luimon loses one point. Volken gets two.”
“Casma-san, do you know about this?”
“Yeah. I’ve heard rumors about it. This is the ability known as Spatial Control. I thought it was only a rumor, though.”
Casma threw the pencil he was holding. Just like the bullet, it disappeared at one point in space and then flew to the opposite direction.
“You can understand by seeing it. It’s distorting the connection of space. It’s quite the amazing ability. I didn’t think anyone could make this happen.”
Casma gave directions so they could approach closer with their boat. Mirepoc drove the boat.
“Well, wait for a while. I’ll negate that Magic.”
Casma held his hands out and started reciting the chants for Magic Deliberation. It was a more complicated spell not used by other Librarians. Casma the Magician could use not only his own Magic Right but also special Magic handed down from ancient times.
“How long will it take?”
“Who knows. Just wait and don’t count on it. After all, our dear enemy is undoubtedly a better Magician than me.”
“Isn’t he just a terrorist?”
Luimon and Mirepoc looked tense. Volken spoke to them.
“Calm down. It’s just a powerful terrorist. There is no need to be afraid.”
Several hours passed. Waiting vigilantly without a moment’s rest was more tiring than a battle.
Luimon said. Mirepoc restlessly walked around the boat while wondering if there was something she could do. Volken alone was calmly watching over the situation.
“I made an opening.”
“Did you break in?”
“Don’t get too excited, I just opened a hole. I will keep on like this and erase the entire barrier.”
Saying so, Casma kept casting his Magic further. At that time, something happened on the White Smoke. Someone jumped off the deck. He then swam in the sea, trying to escape. It wasn’t clear if he was swimming or drowning.
“Oh, this isn’t good.”
Saying this, Casma leapt into the sea. Even dressed in his robe, he swam skillfully and approached the drowning person.
Something happened yet again.
Just as Casma tried to help the person, a large column of water rose up.
Volken raised his voice. After the water column disappeared, robe scraps floated up. The surroundings became slightly reddish.
“What is… this…”
They knew what happened in their heads. However, they didn’t want to admit it. The man took a bomb, jumped into the sea and exploded. Was such a thing possible?
Next, several people jumped from the White Smoke into the sea. They got closer to them while drowning.
Luimon drew his gun. Volken held him back.
“Mirepoc, move the boat! Go around the White Smoke!”
Mirepoc steered. Then, something came flying from behind. It was a gravel bullet used by Hamyuts for communication. The only word written inside was “withdraw”.
“Yes, he opened a hole in the barrier.”
Hamyuts asked them at the coast. It was Volken who nodded.
“Seems like we have no choice but break through that hole. But only Casma knows where it is… how troubling.”
“We’ll have to make a thorough search. We have no other choice.”
Volken said. Hamyuts nodded to that.
The four of them boarded the fast boat and approached the White Smoke once again.
“I will search for the hole in the barrier. Volken, make a foothold for me.”
Volken activated his ability. The twelve loops hanging from his waist floated. He used a simple and conventional telekinesis. By restricting what he could move to the twelve Dancing Blades, it increased their speed and accuracy. Their lethality was much higher than the average gun.
He made the Dancing Blades float in air and affixed them in place. Using them as footholds, he and Luimon ran up to the air.
“Now it’s getting exciting.”
Hamyuts quietly let her impressions.
Stepping on the swords floating midair, Volken and Luimon looked for the hole. Both Luimon’s bullets and Hamyuts’s gravel bullets were repelled by the spatial barrier. Just where was the opening created by Casma?
Even during their slow progress more human bombs came down from the White Smoke. They were heading to the boat boarded by Hamyuts and Mirepoc. Mirepoc steered the boat away from them.
They attacked the barrier and looked for holes. They had to continue this terribly troublesome and time-consuming work. Meanwhile, the human bombs jumped into the ocean one after the other.
“It passed through!”
A hole opened in the White Smoke’s hull. It was done by Luimon’s bullet.
“Look at me, I’m about to show you how cool I can get!”
Saying so, Luimon kicked at the Dancing Blade providing his foothold and flew. He slipped through the hole in the spatial barrier and landed inside the ship.
People quickly gathered on the deck and surrounded Luimon. He started defeating the enemies with his body and gun.
Volken got down to the deck after him.
After breaking through the barrier it all ended quickly. There weren’t many warriors on the ship. There was also no sign of the Spatial Magician.
The have finished suppressing the ship.
“Alright, we’re strong.”
Luimon rejoiced, but Volken’s expression was bitter.
“…What’s wrong, Volken?”
“We ended up killing them all.”
“…Yeah, that’s true.”
The situation on the ship ended up tragic. People’s limbs cut off by Volken’s Dancing Blades and Luimon’s bayonet were scattered around. The intestines of people who turned into pieces of meat by Luimon’s bullets were also strewn about. No part of the deck was unstained with blood.
The one saving grace was that the scent of death was blown by the sea breeze and vanished.
The ship itself was in horrible condition. A human bomb exploded on the deck, slanting the ship. At this rate it will sink in a few hours.
They didn’t intend to do a massacre. Even if they were enemies, they wanted to conclude everything without killing them.
Luimon probably didn’t have any leeway. But Volken was far stronger than him. He thought that he would be able to hold back.
“Hey, Volken. Don’t start thinking like Noloty. Well, since you’re able to back up your words with real strength it’s fine though…”
The spatial barrier was disappearing. Hamyuts and Mirepoc abandoned the fast boat and boarded the ship. The fast boat, damaged by the human bombs, was sinking.
“This isn’t the time to talk, you lot.”
“I saw it with my Sensory Threads, but there are still plenty of people inside. Go check on them. It’s quite terrible.”
Until then, Hamyuts clearly had no intention of killing the Meats.
If the incident had ended like that, that battle would have been nothing more than a bitter memory for Volken. However, the problem came after that.
Just as they entered the main topic, Volken stopped talking.
“There seems to be something I must do before I continue this story.”
Olivia understood the reason for that as well. A single aircraft was approaching them. The only ones who would approach them currently were enemies.
“I’ll continue after we overcome this obstacle.”
Olivia replied. She wanted to briefly discuss everything before the enemy came, but it appeared there was no choice. If they were to talk about it Volken would lose and so Olivia would, too.
Just before the aircraft passed by Volken, it made a huge swerve. It then began flying alongside his flying boat.
The airplane’s hatch opened. A helmet-wearing head shouted from inside. Volken immediately knew him even from afar. The only one to wear such a helmet and the only one to call him like that could be only Vizac.
“Crashing our planes into each other will be boring. Let’s land somewhere!”
Volken glanced at Olivia. Once he saw that she had no complaints, he started a nose dive. Vizac also lowered his altitude alongside him.
“Seems like a carefree guy.”
“Yeah. That’s the kind of person he is.”
Olivia shrieked at the small shock received when they landed on water. Volken lightly jumped from his seat and stood on the sandy beach.
Vizac was leisurely walking from the plane landed atop the beach. He held his favorite spear.
“It’s been a while, Volken. Is the lady with you your girlfriend? Ain’t she cute.”
Vizac came and spoke in a cheerful tone.
“Really now, I take my eyes off of you for a moment and this is what happens.”
He cracked jokes and laughed by himself. It didn’t look like he came there to defeat a traitor at all. Even before the battle he wasn’t on guard at all. Even now, Volken was an ally for him.
“Vizac-san, she’s nothing like that. She is a witness so I can evict Hamyuts. I had to run away to protect her.”
“Hmm, so you actually do plan on revolting against Hamyuts?”
“This is no rebellion. I am merely trying to restore Bantorra Library to its proper form.”
“You got yourself into quite the mess. I thought you’re a man who’d do something, but who would’ve thought you would pick up a fight with Hamyuts.”
“It cannot be helped. It is necessary, for us Armed Librarians.”
Vizac’s cheeks stretched to a broad smile.
“You’ve grown, Volken.”