One night has passed since the activation of the barrier.
Tanks were running on the roads. Even the spacious main street of the town was too narrow for the groups of tanks lined up. They kept passing through, crushing the surrounding fences and outdoor lights and destroying all building standing in their way.
None in town made a single click of their tongues or voiced a single complaint. If the Armed Librarians were to die – those hateful, hateful Armed Librarians – they were fine with them breaking whatever they wanted.
Airplanes were dancing in the skies.
There were so many airplanes that even the wide sky seemed cramped. Even though they already blew the entire island to smithereens, they still had enough bombs to load onto them.
Ships were clustered in the waters surrounding the island. Looking at them from the sky, it would appear as if a black belt enclosed the island with twice its area. There was not even one fifth of the total forces among the soldiers on the island. No matter how one crammed them, no more would be able to fit. The remaining soldiers held their guns with sweaty hands and awaited orders.
Looking from atop rooftops or from the shadows of alleyways, the inhabitants were sending them gazes as hot as lava. It was as if they were watching their heroes.
Destroy the Armed Librarians as soon as possible. Burn that awful building which sullies us just by existing, that building that prides itself in a history of 2000 years, burn Bantorra Library to ashes. They were watching the invaders with eyes that seemed to say just that.
The people on the island raised an especially loud cheer. The Magic Combat Unit was getting ahead of the tanks and heading for the Library. The Armed Librarians and the Indulging God Cult weren’t the only ones to train warriors who used Magic.
Coming from behind the mixed forces of the three countries, the Magicians of the Magic Agency also formed a line and advanced.
The only thing that stood in their way was the barrier covering Bantorra Library. When that barrier is destroyed… it was clear to everyone there that when that happens, the end of Bantorra Library will come.
The Magicians started reciting the chants needed to break barriers. The warriors started attacking it. They were trying to destroy the barrier with overwhelming numbers.
The inside of Bantorra Library was in panic. They treated the injured Armed Librarians and gathered all those who could still fight. Mirepoc’s decision to hole up inside was perhaps too late. More than half of the survivors were wounded, and a quarter of them lost their ability to fight.
Merciful gunshots reverberated to those they decided would not be able to survive.
All Armed Librarians received an immeasurable shock due to the death of Ireia who had protected the Library for forty years. It was perhaps even larger of a shock than if Hamyuts were to die. Ireia was undoubtedly a symbol of “the strongest” in Bantorra Library.
However, morale was high. The Armed Librarians were getting worked up because they had lost those they could rely upon. It was the same as a cornered mouse who found the courage to bite the cat chasing it.
The door to the Acting Director’s Office opened. Supported by Mirepoc, Minth came inside. He had regained his consciousness a little while ago after receiving extensive treatment.
“I can walk, it’s fine.”
Minth tried entering the room, and as he stumbled Mattalast lent him his shoulder.
“Don’t push yourself. You’ve hurt your arteries.”
A cloth meant to stop Minth’s bleeding was wrapped around his thigh. The entire area under his right knee was stained with blood. If it were not bound with cloth, his blood would probably still be spewing out.
However, the Armed Librarians couldn’t spare the time to worry about such an injury.
“Minth, yesterday you’ve told us you understood the truth about this incident.”
Hamyuts gazed at him and said.
“Yeah. That’s why I came back.”
“Um, Minth-san. Does that mean you betrayed us?”
“Idiot, what are you saying? Listen to what Minth’s telling us.”
Hamyuts rebuked Mirepoc. Minth sat down on the floor as if he lost all power.
“There’s no need to explain about my ability now, right?”
There was no way the Armed Librarians wouldn’t know about it.
His eyes were named Sacred Eyes. What kind of a person was the one in front of him? Was he good or bad, who did he love or hate? Minth could tell all this with a glance. By reading into subtle changes in emotions, he could also tell whether someone was lying or disturbed.
“While heading here, I saw some people getting attacked. All of their souls were full with unbelievable hatred. It was violent and simplistic. They were thinking that as long as the Armed Librarians were to die they didn’t care what happened next.”
They already knew that. But Minth’s eyes should have been able to read through them even further.
“It’s hard to explain, but the shape of hatred is same in every person. Sorrow at their loved ones being taken away, hatred close to being suicidal… that kind of shape.
It’s impossible. Hatred also has many other forms. Men have one, women have one, old people, young people, they all have their own forms. But all those who are attacking us have the exact same shape to their hatred.”
“From now on is only my guess. Do you remember Renas Fleur?”
They all nodded, wondering if she even had any relevance to all of this.
“They produced the fake Renas using a technique that transplants the memories from a Book into a person and so “revives” a dead person. But I’ve wondered whether that technique had any utility value.
Even if human souls are transplanted, one cannot transplant Magic Rights. Even if you’d transplant the Director’s personality you’d only be a crazy woman. It can’t be used to produce warriors.
Or so I’ve thought.”
“Should it be the opposite? This is not a technique to make a mere human into a warrior. Isn’t it actually a technique able to make warriors into the enemies of the Armed Librarians?
They transplanted the soul of someone who hates the Armed Librarians to all the people in the world and made them attack us.”
That logic seemed sound. However, it was only the first step in their reasoning. The question was how the Indulging God Cult had managed to accomplish that.
Hamyuts was gazing outside the window. On the other side of the whales Bonbo set afloat, the enemies have filled up the island.
“It doesn’t seem like someone caught them one by one and performed some trick on them.”
“It’s probably something that activates automatically. A technique where by seeing something, or perhaps hearing something, that personality would be transplanted to them on the spot…”
“There’s also another problem. Why does it not work on us Armed Librarians? If a personality of someone who hates Armed Librarians would be transplanted into us we would all commit suicide.”
“Now that you mention it, Ismo’s President was also normal.”
Mirepoc held her head.
“The normal librarians also don’t seem to become our enemies. There’s probably some condition. Something that makes it so one would not be affected.”
“It’s probably not some small trigger like seeing something or hearing something. There’s some power able to affect souls at work…”
With this, all clues were present. A power that affected souls and spread explosively. It did not affect Armed Librarians and even with normal people there were some who received it and some who didn’t. The four people started thinking. However, time passed with no answer coming to mind.
“I have no idea. We have too few hints.”
When Hamyuts said this, Mattalast suddenly had a flash of inspiration.
“I remember now. There’s another clue. It’s beyond our understanding, but… it seems like Noloty is related to that plan.”
This was the first time Hamyuts and Minth heard of this. Mirepoc did hear about it before. However, distracted by the fighting, she had forgotten all about it.
“What do you mean, Mattalast?”
“Even I don’t get it at all. It’s just that one of our enemies said her name.”
At that moment, Mirepoc raised her voice.
The gazes of the other three focused at her.
“Affecting the soul, spreading explosively, and not affecting Armed Librarians… I’m not sure how Noloty’s related to this, but all the conditions match!”
“It’s the Deep Blue Curse. The Indulging God Cult used the Deep Blue Curse to plant the seeds of hatred in the entire world!”
Radio broadcasting was ceased. With that, Kachua lost all means with which he could find out the situation at Bantorra Library. But he wasn’t worried. The fact that the Library’s destruction was already decided hasn’t changed.
Was there anyone who’d be able to realize even one part of his plan? They would most likely be able to think of the idea of transplanting souls, but probably not relate it to the Deep Blue Curse. Thinking that far would be an accomplishment.
The Gloomy Lizard was pacing aimlessly inside the cabin. Wetting the floor with its black bodily fluids, it raised a depressed groaning. These fluids contained the pathogens of the Deep Blue Curse.
“Do you hate them?”
Kachua called to the Gloomy Lizard. It breathed out a black fog from its mouth.
Originally, those infected with the Deep Blue Curse would fall into melancholy and die. However, the improved Deep Blue Curse produced from this lizard was different.
Even if contracted there will be no melancholy. They will be captured by hatred instead. They would hate and hate the Armed Librarians until they couldn’t stand it.
The entirety of Kachua’s plan was made in order to create this Magic Beast. All of the plans he made to raise Arkit, send him into battle, and rescue him from Noloty, were all in order to perfect it.
No, that was not all. Even the entire battle made by the Indulging God Cult was for this Magic Beast’s sake.
The Gloomy Lizard exhaled. These words could be faintly heard through the air.
“You hate them, right? Then keep on hating. More Armed Librarians would die the more you hate them.”
Saying this, a gentle smile rose to Kachua’s lips.
It all began when he had met a single Magic scholar. Kachua was looking for able scientists and Magicians from all around the world. Starting with Charlot, researchers who deviated from the proper world gathered at Kachua’s side. The Meats originally served as guinea pigs to them. Using them as materials for the Monster or turning them into Human Bombs was nothing more than a secondary use.
Among all the geniuses he had gathered Kachua focused on one Magic scholar. He was a heretic scholar who tried combining Magic with science. Furthermore, after knowing the man’s personality, it was obvious why he couldn’t work in the center stage of science.
“Kahahahaha, you make me do some good research hahahahahahahaha.”
This Magic scholar, named Bada, did not stop laughing even for a moment when he spoke.
It was not that he made his inquiring mind work until exhaustion and thus fell into darkness; ever since he had met Kachua he was wholly broken. He was a man who seemed to obtain an abnormal brain in exchange for his failed humanity.
His research, which was about the revival of people, didn’t seem like it would become useful for battle. However, Kachua always felt that he was about to grasp something important.
Coming up with the way of using it happened a long time after he met him.
“Using Deep Blue Curse to transplant hatred! Kahahaha, you’ve thought of a wonderful thing hahahaha!”
Even knowing that it would be impossible, Bada approved his proposal. His research from then on was remarkable.
He easily succeeded in reviving humans, and furthermore was able to realize transplanting of a human soul into an animal.
Transplanting a human’s hatred into a Gloomy Lizard, it would also be transplanted into the infected persons through the pathogens for the Deep Blue Curse. Even Kachua, the person to hit upon this idea, couldn’t believe it actually came true.
A certain day after completing the proper technique, which was a month after Mokkania’s rebellion, Bada suddenly committed suicide. It didn’t seem like he was at a loss, nor did he want to ascend to Heaven, and Kachua couldn’t understand the reason for his suicide even after reading his Book.
After this came Kachua’s work. He began looking for hatred that would destroy the Armed Librarians. He first tried using suggestion on Meats so they would hate them. However, even transplanting those Books’ souls into people, no favorable outcome was reached. Small amount of hatred would just get negated by their original personality.
Kachua tried transplanting the pure, strong soul of a warrior who knew of his intentions. That also did not work. He had neither the sense of duty nor the proper objective.
What he needed was hatred. It had to be strong, pure, and morbid. It had to be not an artificial product, but true hatred.
Then, Kachua found – Arkit Chroma.
Meanwhile at Bantorra Library…
“There’s no cure for the Deep Blue Curse.”
Hamyuts said while staring out of the window.
“Even if there was, it doesn’t seem like it would have been useful. It would be impossible for us to inject it one by one with these numbers.”
Together with Mattalast, they both sighed. They understood their enemy’s plan, but could not find any measure against it. They only made a slight advance inside the total darkness.
“More importantly, what are you planning to do now, Director?”
“The Armed Librarians outside of Bantorra are investigating a facility of the Indulging God Cult again. Until they are able to do something we will defend this place.”
“But how long can we do so, I wonder?”
Hamyuts leapt out of the window. Mattalast also followed her. Before leaving, she was ordered by Mirepoc to assist Minth’s’ treatment.
She could see the entirety of Past God Bantorra’s Island from the roof. Seeing the gathering of the three countries’ armies was also a spectacle.
“About how long will the barrier hold?”
“Probably about three days. But we have to beat the Magician Unit who’s trying to break it.”
“Once we finish our talk we have to go. Attack with all those who can still work.”
“After defeating the Magician Unit, what’s next?”
“There will be plenty of other people. Even if we defeat the Magicians, they would be able to break the barrier using brute force.”
The tanks and bombers kept their attacks without stopping. The time when the barrier would run out was approaching.
“We can probably hold out one month. Until then, we have to do something.”
Was it possible? Even though they weren’t able to think of any measures, the time remaining was far too short.
“We have no choice but to do something. Staying inside for a whole month…”
Just as he said this, Mattalast paled.
He leapt off the roof and ran to the annex. Hamyuts released her Sensory Threads and tied them to him.
“Director, we might have been had.”
Mattalast spoke to her through the Sensory Threads. He rushed inside a warehouse at the annex. Hamyuts could also feel what was inside there.
“…We were idiots. We forgot what we absolutely need for a siege battle.”
Hamyuts couldn’t deny his words. Even though it was their first time to face a siege, just how clumsy were they?
They forgot the thing most essential for a siege. Even though all castles throughout history would collapse without it, how could they have forgotten? They needed food.
Everything in their warehouse had been burned. In the confusion someone who became their enemy probably burned it all.
“Really stupid of us… what will we do?”
Hamyuts started smiling. She was smiling at both her approaching death as well as her foolishness.
“Can’t we just steal something?”
They returned to the office and explained the situation. After they did, Minth spoke readily.
“Can we? We are surrounded.”
“Using your Sensory Threads you should at least know if there’s food around, Director. Stealing it would be troublesome, but we have to do it so we wouldn’t lose.”
“That’s true, but…”
Mirepoc tilted her head. Hamyuts then flapped her hand and spoke.
“I hate that.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Do you think we can do such an ugly thing? We are the proud Armed Librarians who have protected the world for 2000 years. Will we just turn into bandits and look around for food at the end? That’s no joke.”
“I should be the one to say it’s no joke. If you don’t want to do it, I will. I don’t mind resigning from this place and go back to be a robber.”
“You’re also stubborn. I’m telling you that I don’t like it so listen to me.”
Mirepoc shook her head to the side.
“I also agree with Minth. Director, I’m slightly disappointed.”
Hamyuts was surprised the two people objected. Mattalast also nodded and seemingly agreed with them.
“We will do all we can do. For now, we have to defeat our current enemies. Mirepoc will stay in the rear. All other people who can move will go. We will attack with all of them.”
Bonbo created a formation of whales in the sky. The ones to hold their weapons and gather on the ground were not only the Armed Librarians and trainees; there were also some normal librarians who weren’t able to become Armed Librarians. There were also those who intended on fighting despite not having any fighting capabilities.
They did not need Hamyuts’s orders. Not only did they not need poor orders against the army corps that were prepared to fight to the death, it would probably be harmful. Hamyuts watched them all in silence.
The subordinates continued their preparations for combat with grim expressions. They handed out small arms, loaded ammunition and formed lines. While sitting on the roof and watching this, Hamyuts let out a chuckle.
She already knew – they would not win.
“Are you happy, Hammy?”
It was then that Mattalast spoke to her.
“Oh, is that how it seems?”
“Anyone looking at you would think so. You look really happy.”
“Perhaps. This is quite the complicated feeling.”
Hamyuts had been waiting for someone who could kill her. Since now it was about to happen, there was no way she wouldn’t be happy.
Ever since she had defeated Mokkania and the Indulging God Cult was heading to destruction she gave up, thinking her defeat was impossible. However, it seemed like there was still hope.
“I never thought it would come to this. I thought the Overseer of Paradise was an idiot, but I’ll revise my evaluation. That old geezer is quite something.”
Mattalast made a complicated expression. He was the closest man to Hamyuts, but it was different for her.
“Say, what was the cause of my defeat?”
“I can’t really say. Even if someone other than you was the Acting Director they would have probably been unable to evade this loss.
But if I have to say, there was one thing.”
Mattalast gently touched Hamyuts’s head.
“The Overseer of Paradise is a man who looks forward. But you’re one who waits for things to come to you. You were always waiting for someone to come and kill you.”
He tousled her hair.
“Hammy, you’re a girl waiting for her prince charming. A girl who dreams and believes someone will bring happiness to her. If I have to state anything as your cause of defeat, it would probably be that.”
“I see. That’s certainly true.”
Hamyuts held her knees and looked at Mattalast.
“I think I understand why I wasn’t feeling up to it.”
“What is it?”
“It seems that a bride always feels some depression before her wedding. She’s hesitating like, should I really marry this person? She thinks of all the men she knows and starts feelings bad.
I think it’s like that.”
“The depression of the waiting room, huh? Well, that’s natural. Marriage means to stop being a dreaming girl and turn into an adult, after all.”
“Yeah, but I definitely have a person in mind.”
“Did you recall someone?”
Hamyuts nodded sweetly.
“If I am going to be killed by someone, I want them to be like Colio.”
Mattalast released his hand and then slowly left.