Lascall Othello – the one who manages the Books of the Indulging God Cult. Enlike didn’t know this name, but had somewhat figured someone like that would exist.
He heard that he had been killed by Mirepoc. However, if he was directly told that Lascall was still alive he would believe it. The Cult’s darkness was probably much deeper than what the lower grade Librarians like Mirepoc and the rest thought.
Lascall had appeared in front of him just before Enlike bid farewell to the Library. He had the appearance of a boy in mourning clothes. A smile floated to his thin, noble face. It was a smile devoid of emotion, like some painting with no artistic merit to it.
“I have somewhat hesitated over who should be the one to inherit this Book. There were many people who connected their hearts with Noloty-sama after all. However, if I had to choose one, Enlike-sama would undoubtedly be the most suitable one.”
Lascall Othello left Noloty’s Book in front of Enlike. He didn’t reach for it. He didn’t want to touch the evidence of Noloty’s death.
“Oh, are you not going to touch it?”
“…What’s your goal?”
“I have no goal. I merely carry Books and grant their tales a continuation. I simply want for you to continue Noloty-sama’s story. I am neither enemy nor ally.”
Enlike believed his words. And even if he was an enemy, it had nothing to do with him.
“Is there something I can do?”
“I don’t mind. I don’t hate the Indulging God Cult anymore. Is there anything I can do?”
Lascall’s face seemed troubled.
“I see, Enlike-sama has indeed lost everything. However, even an empty person can still inherit a story.
Noloty-sama’s final wish did not come true. You will be able to grant it for her.”
“…Noloty’s final wish…”
If that was true he had no choice but to do it. Only Noloty could make him move. Enlike pulled out a handkerchief and wrapped it around her Book. Then, he put it in his pocket. It contained the moment that he didn’t want to ever feel again for the rest of his life, if possible.
“What should I do?”
“The place is to the north of the Toatt Mines. It is ten kilometers farther from the place where Noloty-sama had lost her life. The ruins of her unfulfilled story are located there.
You will naturally understand what to do if you go there.”
Lascall said so and turned his back. While leaving, he suddenly uttered further words.
“Besides, we have had a deep relationship, Enlike-sama. At first I have carried your Book, and have twice entrusted you with a Book.”
“You should have knowledge of it.”
Saying so, Lascall vanished. Enlike couldn’t reach the answer immediately, but it was Qumola’s Book he had received when he was the Monster. He couldn’t help but laugh at himself. Enlike had already received the Book of a girl he loved twice.
He passed through Bujui and walked to Toatt Mining Town. He was headed for the place of Noloty’s final battle.
He didn’t read the Book in his pocket. He couldn’t face Noloty’s death – he was too afraid of it.
Soon he approached Toatt Mining Town. Enlike readied his resolve and touched the Book. He knew that Noloty came this far.
Noloty raised her voice while inside the Acting Director’s Office. This happened when she was called by Hamyuts to receive new orders.
“Yeah. That’s quite the memorable place.”
The unforgettable Dragon Pneumonia Incident of Toatt Mining Town. This was where Hamyuts had fought to the death with the human bombs and Cigal Crukessa. It was much more memorable for her.
“But still, using bio terrorism again… it somehow feels intentional.”
Noloty looked at the document she was handed. It came from the Cult’s underling killed by Minth a month ago. He possessed a document written in cipher. It was finished being decoded just yesterday.
The document’s contents were orders to assassinate the Armed Librarian appointed to Toatt Mines. The attacking method was planned to be an indiscriminate bacterial attack. They were even going to involve citizens to kill a single Armed Librarian. This way of doing things was just like the Indulging God Cult. The document was signed by the Overseer of Paradise.
The specific attack method was unknown. The only thing written was that it would accompany the person known as Arkit Chroma.
“Just what is the enemy thinking about? What will attacking that kind of place at this stage will accomplish?”
Hamyuts tilted her neck. Noloty was also confused; there was no strategic value there and the Armed Librarian in charge wasn’t an important person.
“Is it possible the Indulging God Cult lot can’t do anything else right now? If true that’s so boring.”
Saying that, Hamyuts plunked down on her chair.
“And so, I’m entrusting this job to you. Do whatever you’d like.”
Hamyuts’s way of issuing orders was usually like this. She would make the orders and then let each individual judge by themselves how to act. Wasn’t trying to make people grow by inducing them to think simply bothersome?
“Understood. I will do my best!”
Saying this, Noloty received the document.
“I won’t be giving you any orders. Operate according to your own judgment.”
After reporting to her supervisor Mirepoc, this was the answer she received.
“Is that fine?”
“You will soon be equal in rank to me. Until when will you have to listen to my orders?”
Noloty, somewhat disturbed, nodded. This was the first time Mirepoc clearly talked about a promotion. As she grew, the two have started opening their hearts to each other.
“I’m happy to have more comrades. Ever since Luimon died I became alone and there were no people close to me in age.”
Noloty was at a loss for a reply. There was another person of the same generation as Mirepoc besides Luimon. It was the traitor Volken.
Everyone thought that he would literally be the last person in the world to ever betray them. Yet that same Volken stole the Spinning Doll, purposely killed Vizac who was only stalling him, and even took Renas along, killing her for some unknown reason. It was an unbelievable incident.
Noloty had also received a shock, but Mirepoc went far beyond that. When she had heard of his betrayal, she hit the wall, broke her desk, cried, shouted, cried again and cursed Volken as much as she could. Everyone wondered how come Mirepoc, who was part of the elite, knew such words.
Afterwards, she ran into the Labyrinth without any restraint, and when she returned she cleanly forgot about everything. It seemed that she drank the water of Argax. And when Noloty asked her about the situation…
“What have I been thinking about?”
She said and tilted her head. But Noloty was the one to ask that.
Even Noloty, thickheaded as she was, noticed Mirepoc’s feelings for Volken. It was a fleeting, unrequited love. What kinds of terrible things would have happened if they were closer than that? Noloty imagined it and shuddered.
She parted from Mirepoc. There was one more person to greet her.
“So you’re going alone?”
As excepted, thought Noloty, he would make that sort of response. Enlike showed her a far too obvious worried expression.
Enlike cut connections with both the Indulging God Cult and the Armed Librarians. He was there only for Noloty’s sake. If the Armed Librarians fall to danger he would throw away his life to fight. Otherwise he would train Noloty. He always said the following.
“Are you in any danger of dying?”
“Yeah… if I were to die you would become sad.”
“Yeah. Me dying would be a lot better.”
Noloty scratched her nose.
“Don’t be. You shouldn’t feel troubled about that.”
But telling her to not be troubled only caused her to worry even more.
“Got it. Thank you, Enlike-san.”
Being told so, Enlike became embarrassed. He was a person hard to deal with.
He was still reluctant. He tried getting Noloty to tell him she wanted to rely on him or wanted to take him along.
“I’ll be going alone. That’s what’s been decided after all.”
Noloty refused. She threw herself into the world of fighting out of her own will. Enlike was not so. He became strong only because he was coerced by the Cult. So I can’t let him fight, she thought.
“I will definitely come back.”
She had to grow stronger. If she didn’t, Enlike would tie himself to the Library forever. He only added one more reason for her to be stronger.
After having met with Enlike she experienced a rapid growth. Perhaps the reason for that was right there.
Then, Noloty headed for her final fight by herself. She had no way to know about her own death.
Enlike, reading the Book, removed his finger from it at that point. Just like the past Noloty, he stepped into the area of Toatt Mining Town.
Just like the other town Toatt Mining Town was also in disorder. Even the smoke that always came out from the mines stopped now.
Enlike entered the town and walked in a fast pace. The reason people moved aside to let him pass was not because he was a strange man with transparent hair; he was simply exuding such a sense of danger from his entire body that even a normal citizen who knew nothing could feel it at a glance.
His destination was not the town. He tried passing it. At that moment, his feet stopped.
There was a woman on the outskirts of town. She pulled a trolley around, probably selling bread. She was looking fearfully inside a cabin.
She found corpses inside. There four dead men. Enlike stood next to the woman and confirmed this.
“Are you an Armed Librarian?”
The woman started talking to him.
“Then, are you… from the ones who did bad things here before…”
“That’s also wrong.”
The frightened woman seemed a bit relieved. She apparently had had some dreadful experience during the Dragon Pneumonia Incident. Perhaps she had lost a person dear to her.
Enlike looked at the corpses. They were killed a while back. That this hasn’t been taken care of until now was probably because all of the Ismo Republic was in disorder.
They were all killed by a bladed weapon. Seeing the size of their wounds, he could understand it was a sharp weapon as long as a one-handed sword at the most. Their guns fell beside them. They were sniper rifles with long barrels meant for long distances. The size of the bullets was abnormal; they were especially powerful guns for those who could use Magic.
Seeing the basics, he rose up.
“What is it?”
Enlike spoke to the woman.
“Nothing will happen here anymore. Everything’s ended already.”
He said and started running. The place Lascall Othello told him of wasn’t there. It was only one checkpoint.
He touched the Book with his fingertips again. He confirmed everything that happened in this town from beginning to end.
When she came to Toatt Mining Town, the first thing Noloty did was visit the Armed Librarian office. A new Armed Librarian was supposed to have been stationed there after Luimon’s death, but she couldn’t see him anywhere. There was a note left inside the messy room.
“I’m on an independent investigation of the Cult. I’ll join you later”
Noloty said. They were supposed to investigate it together, but it seemed like he didn’t want to be with her. Anyway, she had to start the job by herself.
She first scanned over the official documents of the mine management. She tried finding something interesting in them.
After a while, she heard a knock on the door. Several men and women stood outside.
“Did you bring what I asked for?”
Noloty said and they nodded.
“Five antibiotics, disinfectants and sprays, and an infection preventing tent.”
They were doctors. Noloty arranged and gathered them before coming to Toatt Mining Town.
“We’ve brought only the minimal medical instruments, but is that really fine?”
“Yes. For the time being we need to prevent the circulation of the infection. I have other doctors waiting in Bujui. When we identify the bacteria spread by the enemy they will prepare medicine there.
More importantly, did you tell other people before coming here?”
“Just as you’ve told us, we didn’t even talk with our families.”
Noloty nodded and handed them scraps of paper.
“Please wait there until I give you orders. Until then please don’t come close to here.”
The doctors left all the medical instruments in the office and went away.
“Well then, it’s time for me to move as well.”
Saying so, Noloty also left the office.
She found a point of interest in the mine management records. A certain medical research team was said to be staying at Toatt Mining Town. They were there under the pretense of researching the health condition of those working at the mines, but the timing was suspicious. Besides, they had sent a request to enter the mines but were rejected. This was also unnatural. Noloty decided to go after them first.
But were they really the Indulging God Cult? Did they really feel they wouldn’t be suspected with that level of camouflage? During the Dragon Pneumonia Incident sixteen human bombs have infiltrated without being noticed. Compared to that time, it felt much more childish and sloppy.
Noloty went to the inn where the medical team was lodging. She couldn’t find them. She spoke to the innkeeper.
“They have stayed here since a while ago. Anyhow, this place has a bad atmosphere. They said they were going to research lung disease.”
“Did they do anything? Like give you a medicine or an injection?”
The innkeeper started thinking.
“They made me drink a test drug. It appeared to be a medicine where nothing would happen if I were healthy but there would be some response if I’m sick. But nothing’s happened.”
Noloty paled in delay. But he drank the medicine almost a month ago. What does it mean that nothing happened since then? Anyhow, let’s try to get in touch with them.
“Did they say where they were going?”
“They said they were going to the mines.”
Hearing this was enough. Noloty left the inn.
Noloty walked along in the main street where muddy Books went back and forth. As far as she could see there was nothing strange with the town’s people. It didn’t seem like they were attacked by any bioterrorism. If that medical team was indeed from the Indulging God Cult then they didn’t do anything for nearly a month. What did that mean?
While thinking of this and that, she received Mirepoc’s Thought Sharing.
‘Noloty, are there any results?’
‘There are some suspicious people but I can’t really grasp anything yet.’
‘I see. We do have some results here. The Cult seemed to have progressed in their research of the Deep Blue Curse a while back.’
‘The Deep Blue Curse?’
‘Of course you know of it. If you don’t I’m going to subtract points.’
Noloty nodded. During the Dragon Pneumonia Incident, the Armed Librarians took some countermeasures against biological attacks. She had the information about diseases that might be used for an attack inside her head.
The Deep Blue Curse. It was a magical weapon created by a Magician of ancient times in order to destroy an enemy country. Books that described the means to produce this disease were stored in the Library’s Third Sealed Archive under strict guard.
The most prominent trait of the disease was that it infected the soul. Even if contracted, there will be nothing abnormal to be found in the body. The symptoms will manifest in one’s mind.
The first symptom is a light lethargy. Next to come are melancholy, persecution complex and the like. As the disease progresses, the patients start being harassed by visual and auditory hallucinations. During the final stage, they are seized by unimaginable despair, and everything in their line of sight is dyed in deep blue. The disease got its bizarre name from them muttering “blue, blue” as they die.
It had a tremendous infectious capacity. Just inhaling the breath of a sick person would cause infection. If there was only one infected person, it would probably take about two days to spread to their entire town.
‘Mirepoc-san… that disease has pathogens made by monsters.’
‘Right. You’ve remembered it well.’
Mirepoc praised her. Noloty was somewhat happy.
The pathogens of Deep Blue Curse were created inside the body of a certain Magic Beast. It was an artificial magical creature known as the Gloomy Lizard. It was said to be a huge ugly lizard covered in black fluid. That creature’s bodily fluids and blood contained the pathogens.
‘We have no positive proof, but the possibility is high. Please be careful.’
Saying so, the Thought Sharing was severed.
Noloty looked around her and thought. If the enemy planned on attacking with the Deep Blue Curse, how will they do so? They should have scattered it all over the town as soon as possible. No matter how infectious it was, it would take over a day for it to spread. If the Armed Librarian escaped during that time it would lose all meaning.
At that moment, the mines’ chimneys were reflected in Noloty’s eyes. She started running.