“You don’t want to kill people?”
It was about two months after they had met. The two of them finished training and started a conversation.
“Yes. Not killing anyone is the most important thing to me.”
It certainly was. But there should also be times where she couldn’t do so.
“Let me ask this. What will you do against a brutal enemy?”
“I won’t kill them.”
Noloty answered without hesitation.
“If you let them leave and they come to fight again what will you do?”
“I will fight them again. And I will win again.”
“No matter how many times it happens?”
The troubled Noloty replied.
“…I will look for a way to settle things without fighting. If I think hard I will find some good method.”
“You’re very patient, huh.”
Enlike then thought to himself. Perhaps the reason Noloty doesn’t want to kill people is similar to my own. Maybe she once killed a person and felt bound by regret?
“Have you ever killed someone?”
Noloty’s face froze.
I knew it, he thought. However, the reason for her answer was different from what Enlike had expected.
“You’ve seen it too, Enlike-san. It was the Monster Zatoh.”
He was a possessor of the Book-Eating ability who once attacked the Library. He was the owner of Enlike’s body.
“Zatoh’s soul is as good as dead. And more importantly, I beat his body in full intention to kill him. I killed a person. It was shameful. I ended giving up.”
Noloty said with a voice as if she was suppressing the pain from old wounds.
“I’m the one who’s killed him. Also, even if you’d killed him he’s not the kind of person you should feel bad about.”
“I know that. But I still didn’t want to kill him.”
“That kind of guy…”
“What if, but really only what if… What if he could live a normal life and gain happiness? It’s impossible, but what if?”
Enlike was a little angry.
“Do you realize who you’re talking to? We were all killed for Zatoh’s sake.”
“…I’m sorry, Enlike-san.”
Enlike regretted bringing up this topic. Making Noloty remember painful things felt to him as painful as getting stabbed.
“Let’s drop this subject.”
However, in the end he couldn’t stop himself from asking.
“Why do you hate killing people that much?”
“Umm, how do I say it, it’s hard… No one would understand it even if I told them.”
“So… this world actually belongs to me.”
He couldn’t understand her. If it was a joke it was slightly amusing.
“From where to where?”
“All of the world’s countries, people, seas, mountains, cities… all of them. Even you, Enlike-san.”
Enlike put his fingers to his forehead and thought. Noloty smiled wryly.
“See, I told you that you wouldn’t understand.”
“Sorry, I really don’t.”
“Yeah, but that’s how things are. Because the world belongs to me, I don’t want to kill anyone. As long as there’s someone that can be saved, I will save any kind of person.”
He couldn’t understand her. Looking at Enlike frowning, Noloty made a troubled smile.
Without any answer to his questions, Enlike kept reading the Book.
Noloty became Arkit’s underling. Even she thought it ridiculous, but had no choice. More importantly she considered what to do from now on. Walking around Toatt Mining Town, she started speaking.
“What will we do now?”
“…We will kill Armed Librarians.”
Noloty sighed as if saying ‘not this again’.
“I can’t really do that.”
“Aren’t you my underling? Do it.”
Arkit was unabashedly angry.
“Even so, it’s a bit…”
He spat on the roadside and then made another order.
“So think of a method to attack Armed Librarians.”
“I can’t do that either.”
Arkit hit Noloty’s shoulder.
“Then you aren’t an underling at all!”
Noloty talked back.
“I told you I’ll become your underling earlier. So that’s what I am.”
“…Just scram off already.”
Arkit probably developed a headache. Even Enlike who read the Book could understand how he felt. Noloty basically didn’t care at all what other people told her.
“I will help you with anything not related to defeating Armed Librarians. Isn’t there anything else?”
“No. I have nothing else but fighting against the Armed Librarians.”
Arkit said clearly. That way of saying this made her feel uncomfortable. Children should be playing and studying; not fighting.
“Every day I think up battle plans and do the Magic Deliberation, that’s it.”
Noloty was surprised. You would normally undergo Magic Deliberation only starting at thirteen. Undergoing it at a time when one’s spirit was still immature would lead one to fall into chaos and lose their life.
“What’re you doing? It’s dangerous.”
Saying that, Arkit took off his hat. She didn’t notice it before, but his head seemed to have some scratch-like scars. It was the evidence that he had failed his Magic Deliberation and nearly got his mind stuck in an abnormal state.
“The Armed Librarians are the ones who’re strange. But since I’m doing that Magic Deliberation to kill you lot I have no choice.”
“You didn’t use your Magic in our battle now.”
“It’s still useless. I still need to make it grow so I can kill you Armed Librarians.”
“…You can’t do that.”
Killing Armed Librarians – the child mouthed these words countless of times.
Unforgivable, thought Noloty. Enlike-san and his friends… Mokkania-san and the human bombs… and also Arkit. The Indulging God Cult takes people who shouldn’t even fight and involves them in combat.
How cowardly. If they want to fight so much then why don’t they fight using their own powers? Using other people is the worst way to fight.
“Say, why don’t we go have some fun?”
Arkit wasn’t sure if he misheard her.
“Let’s stop fighting and go have fun. I’ll take you along.”
“What’re you even saying?”
“There’s nothing in Toatt Mining Town but if we go to Bujui there are a lot of parks and museums so it’ll be fun. Let’s go.”
“I don’t get you…”
“Just play and forget everything. If you give up fighting everything will be better. Since I’m your underling I will help you forget. So let’s have fun.”
Arkit hit a wall with his fist.
No, huh? She sighed. How can I release this kid from the Indulging God Cult? I’ll have to think it through carefully, thought Noloty.
Besides, just what is he in the Cult? The men who ran away were Arkit’s subordinates. But she didn’t think he had the sort of power to command them.
There was another strange matter. During the fight inside the mine’s reactors, one of the men pointed his muzzle at Arkit. Was it to silence him? No, couldn’t be. That was from before Noloty secured him.
Arkit was given subordinates, made to fight, and yet was supposed to be killed. Something was strange.
Lost in thought, Noloty suddenly felt uncomfortable.
“…Stop for a second.”
She grabbed Arkit’s shoulder. She felt some murderous intent directed at them.
She couldn’t see any enemies around them. Noloty recalled the gun held by that man from the Cult. It was a sniper rifle.
If the enemy’s aim was to snipe them, stopping in place was bad. She purposely stopped in order to make them attack. The enemy then took Noloty’s invitation. While she pulled on Arkit’s hand a bullet could be heard traversing through air. After a delay of about half a second a gunshot could be faintly heard from the distance.
“…My subordinates, huh.”
Noloty looked to the direction the bullet came from. There were no people on the roof where the sniper was supposed to be. He had probably already escaped.
“I thought they were completely useless, but apparently they’re not.”
Arkit hadn’t noticed who they were aiming for. Now she couldn’t let him die all the more. The Cult had been unmistakably trying to kill him.
“If you die I will become free. And then I will not kill myself. That is the best method.”
“I’m sorry to tell you, but those people can’t kill me.”
Arkit clicked his tongue.
“I got an idea what we can do now.”
“What is it?”
“We’ll go to Kachua’s place. If it’s him he’ll be able to beat you. Also, he will tell me what to do next.”
“Kachua? Who’s that?”
Hearing those words, a single person emerged in Noloty’s mind. The enemies’ boss – the Overseer of Paradise. He was a mysterious person whose name couldn’t be found no matter how much they investigated him.
“Where is he?”
“He’s close. Kachua has many hideouts, but he’s always on the northern mountain of Toatt Mines.”
“I see. I’ll come as well. I’m your underling after all.”
“How are you even my underling?”
Even if this Kachua wasn’t the Overseer of Paradise, there was still plenty of value in going to meet him. She will beat him and stop Arkit from fighting.
An enemy and an ally, a boss and an underling. The pair with this strange relationship embarked to the north of Toatt Mines.
At that point, Enlike stopped reading the Book. He left Toatt Mining Town and went northward.
Lascall Othello had said – what Enlike needs to do was lying there.
One hour passed since Noloty and Arkit have embarked. A single incident occurred in Toatt Mining Town at that time. Neither Noloty nor Enlike who was reading her Book knew anything about it.
Four men assembled inside a small deserted house in the alleyways. One of them was nervously biting his nails. He was the giant man who failed at sniping Arkit. His name was Uspa. He was one of the few remaining warriors of the Indulging God Cult.
“Since you’ve failed, what will we do now?”
“Shut up, go away.”
Uspa didn’t even give his comrades a single glance. They were utterly useless. They had zero fighting capabilities, so they could only be used for chores.
How could you leave everything to me, Uspa cursed the Overseer of Paradise. If I had just one more warrior we could have managed somehow. However, every person that came to mind was one that had already been killed by the Armed Librarians.
Uspa chewed his nails. He grew more and more angry.
This was the final secret plan left for the Indulging God Cult. The Overseer of Paradise said that he entrusted it to Uspa. If he were to succeed, they will be undoubtedly going to Heaven. However, at this rate, never mind going to Heaven, even the Indulging God Cult itself was in danger.
And at that moment he heard a scream from the outside. Uspa pulled his gun. However, seeing the face of the man who held a bloodied sword, he put the gun away.
“It’s been a long time, Uspa.”
“It’s you, Daltom?”
Uspa called the man’s name. He one was of his comrades; a man who had joined the Indulging God Cult recently. He accomplished the great feat of killing the Armed Librarian Vizac.
He had well-combed blonde hair and a shapely nose. Even his fox-like sharp eyes weren’t unsightly at all.
He wore a red flashy muffler on top of his coffee-colored suit. He was a man with a stylish appearance to whom a sword didn’t fit at all.
“Since I’m here it’s all going to be just fine.”
Daltom spoke in a strangely delicate tone of voice.
“A strange girl got in our way. She captured Arkit and took him with her without killing him. What’s the deal with her?”
“It’s Noloty. So that’s how it turned out. Well, to be honest, thanks to that child I’m saved.”
“It means things were settled without you killing Arkit.”
Uspa tilted his head. Their orders were to assist Arkit’s terrorism. Then, when it was about to succeed, they needed to kill him. That’s why Uspa had tried to snipe him.
“Oh dear me, did you not get the orders? I’m really glad I came here.”
Saying this, Daltom slashed his sword. Blood started spurting from Uspa’s neck.
“You’ve already served your purpose. Since it seems like you won’t be of any use from now on, please die.”
Daltom left the four corpses and went out.
“But Noloty… how troubling of you to do that. Should I ask the Overseer of Paradise for instructions?”
He started running. Just like Noloty and Arkit, as well as Enlike much later, he was headed north.
It was now ten days after Noloty’s death, December 28.
80 kilometers to the north of Toatt Mines, on a mountain where dry, cold wind was blowing, there was a small shack. There were no villages around. The only ones who came there were climbers who challenged the wintry mountain.
The fireplace was burning inside. Next to it, a monopod rocking chair was swaying.
An old radio was placed on a small table at its side. A voice mixed with background noise was broadcasting special news.
“I will continue the report. The Republic of Ismo’s government declared full mobilization! Both the judiciary and the parliament are silent about this declaration that completely ignores the constitution!”
The one listening to the radio was an old man. He was short and thin. He probably didn’t even weigh 50 kilograms.
He was more than seventy years old. Only his eyes stayed sharp in his wrinkle-filled face. People had once said that his eyes were like those of birds of prey.
His hair had a strange color. At first glance it seemed white, but some very pale green could also be seen. When he was young, his hair had been deep green like the color of a conifer. This uncommon color was the proof of him possessing a Magic Right by birth, as there was a connection between one’s hair color and their Magic Right. Volken, who had a bright green hair, had a similar ability to him.
Suddenly, the old man noticed that he forgot to use his ability. There was no point to it since no one was around, but he made it a habit to always keep his figure hidden.
He activated his ability. The figure of the old man changed into a bizarre being that couldn’t be remembered.
His title was the Overseer of Paradise. His name was Kachua Beeinhaus.
He was the initiator of the rebellion as well as its leader. The entire fight of the Indulging God Cult was born from within this old man’s mind.
“It has been a long fight.”
Kachua muttered while listening to the radio. He leaned his head on the backrest and thought back upon his fight with the Armed Librarians.
During the last forty years Kachua created countless plans and collected pawns. And he used all of them freely.
Cigal and Ganbanzel. The two True Men who have challenged Hamyuts were sadly defeated.
The Armed Librarians probably thought they won in these incidents, but Kachua did not treat them as losses. They might have killed Hamyuts if they were lucky. That was what he had expected of them. When people he had known would lose did indeed lose, it didn’t go against any of his expectations.
Winkeny had also been defeated, but it was actually a happy mistake. The pawn that was supposedly thrown away made an unexpected move. The achievement of him erasing one of the two strongest people was enormous.
After that, the counterattack of the Armed Librarians also went just as planned.
He didn’t care how many of his subordinates died. They were a distraction to conceal the one and only method to ruin the Armed Librarians. They were nothing more than sacrificial pawns. The Indulging God Cult seemed to be losing, but if a defeat had been planned, it was no defeat at all.
Finally, at the end of their sacrifice, the trump card was completed.
The radio at Kachua’s side kept shouting.
“We have received a statement about this war from the Acting Director of Bantorra Library, Hamyuts Meseta!”
‘Ismo Republic is our, the Armed Librarians’ best allies. But now, you have taken the wrong actions with an evil intent. For the sake of the world, for the sake of Ismo’s good citizens, the Armed Librarians will crush this evil intent. The Ismo Republic will probably then return being our closest ally.’
I cannot help but feel relieved at this statement. Thank you Hamyuts Meseta!
But do we really have to expect the defeat of our own army?!”
“How easygoing of you, Hamyuts.”
While commanding the fight against the Armed Librarians, he always had a chess board at his side. He likened the pieces to the Cult and the Librarians and used them to grasp the state of the war. But that board was not there now.
He had no need of it anymore. The fight between the Indulging God Cult and the Armed Librarians was being settled. He declared checkmate the moment his trump card had been completed. All that remained was waiting for the destruction of the Armed Librarians. No one could have possibly imagined it; the Armed Librarians have already been defeated a while ago.
At that moment, he heard a voice from behind. Since it was familiar, Kachua was not disturbed.
“Oh, is it Lascall? What happened?”
“It is nothing to do with business. I merely came to chat.”
The one who appeared from inside the floor was a blonde boy wearing mourning clothes. He held a stone dagger in his hand.
“How are you feeling as of now?”
“…As expected, I am filled with emotion.”
Kachua said and threw some wood into the fireplace.
“It was dangerous. To be honest, I cannot be proud of my victory. The very final part was entrusted to fate.”
“You were the one to enjoy good fortune. Is it not fine to hold your head high?”
“Thank you. I will accept your praise.”
Saying so, Kachua once again threw more firewood. His old bones felt the cold.
“Thinking back, it has been strange. Hamyuts and Mattalast, Ireia and Yukizona… There were plenty of shining stars, plenty of powerful people like them, but no one had pursued me. Until the very end none of them moved outside my plans.”
Kachua closed his eyes.
“Only one person, Noloty Malche, had acted outside my expectations. How mysterious. That girl, who had nothing but a kind heart, was the only one to come after me.”
Lascall did not make any response to indicate he was listening. Kachua kept speaking to himself.
“Our trump card, Arkit Chroma… Letting him meet Noloty was my biggest crisis.”
“You have done well to avert that crisis. It is admirable.”
“My, it is rare of you to compliment. Is something the matter?”
“These are my true feelings, Kachua-sama.”
Saying this, Lascall bowed and then disappeared into the floor.
“Well then, let us wait. The destruction of the great Bantorra Library grows near.”
Kachua said and again turned his ears to the radio.