An hour passed since the lightning strike. Time simply passed without anything happening.
Both the shack and the plants around it were burning. Kachua’s body, now a charred and twisted corpse, was crushed by the collapsed shack and was in the process of turning into ashes that couldn’t be thought of as a person.
Even collapsed, the shack kept burning and soon only left behind a small fire. Only the box made of Divine Copper in which the Gloomy Lizard was confined stayed as it was.
Soon Enlike stood up. Even his super regeneration required that much time until he was able to stand. With unsteady steps he walked away from the shack. He dug out Noloty’s Book that he buried and then approached again.
He twisted off the box’s lock. The Magic Beast inside survived without any changes to it. The fact the box was so sturdy was probably Kachua’s final failure. Were the lightning strike to kill Arkit as well, it would probably be the end of the Armed Librarians.
Enlike started talking to the reptile.
“Do you still hate the Armed Librarians?”
Arkit formed words.
‘…I don’t care about anything… not about the Armed Librarians or anything else… just disappear…’
“Yeah. I also think like that.”
On the surface he agreed with Arkit. Even Enlike no longer had anything to do with the Armed Librarians. Since Noloty was gone, he no longer cared if the world got destroyed.
Noloty was the world’s treasure. No matter how long the world goes on, another girl like that will never be born. Noloty’s death was enough of a reason for the world to be destroyed to both Arkit and Enlike.
“However, even if we think that way, Noloty won’t forgive us.”
“Can you believe it, Arkit? There’s a person who would forgive you betraying her and being cruel to her. There’s an idiot that, even though you wanted to destroy the world, still wanted to save you. I can’t believe it. You probably don’t, either.”
“Did you know? Everything in the world belongs to her. Both you and I belong to Noloty.”
Saying this, Enlike placed Noloty’s Book near the Magic Beast’s nose. Her memories were transmitted to Arkit. He now knew of the question that Noloty wasn’t able to pose to him.
He soon formed words again.
‘…Noloty’s life, and my hatred, which is more important…’
No tears could come out of Arkit’s eyes anymore. He would’ve probably cried if he could.
‘You should… know the answer even without asking… she’s such an idiot… I can’t understand her at all…’
“Yeah. She really is an idiot.”
‘I wonder if she would still say that… don’t hate… how stupid… you still say those things…’
Arkit’s soul wept.
‘…I got it… I’ll listen… to what you said…’
When they first met, Noloty told him: she wanted him to listen to what she said.
She became his underling just so he would listen to what she said. She went along with him to Kachua for that too. And she was also killed for that.
Thinking back, that’s all the fight until now was.
At that moment, all infected people around the world simultaneously regained their sanity.
Near the summit of Toitorra Mountain, Yukizona and Yuri were being cornered. The light-weighted mountain soldiers were clambering up the cliff with a gun in one hand. Yukizona no longer had enough power to wipe them out.
Just as he was trying to make his worn out body release a wave in full power one more time…
“Brother, wait with the attack!”
Yuri, who was watching the outside, said.
“The enemies’ attacks stopped.”
She looked down the cliff. Despite attacking them disorderly just a while ago, the soldiers now seemed awkwardly flustered. Even from afar it was clear they fell apart.
“What happened, is the war over?”
Yukizona looked down. One of the soldiers attached to the cliff raised his voice.
“It’s Yukizona! An attack’s coming!”
The soldiers all ran away with great confusion. There were also those who fell in their desperate attempt to climb down. With his hand clad in a black wave, Yukizona watched them in blank amazement.
Bantorra Library was also wrapped in confusion. Everyone was befuddled by the fact the enemy’s attacks suddenly stopped. Several Armed Librarians were sent as scouts to gauge the enemy’s situation.
“Is it over?”
An Armed Librarian muttered. He stopped gathering ammunition in preparation for the next attack.
“Don’t stop, you fools! Prepare for the next attack!”
“But they stopped attacking.”
“I just don’t get what’s going on…”
Saying so, Minth dragged his legs and ran to the town. He looked at people’s souls using his Sacred Eyes. No matter where he looked, he couldn’t see the shape of hatred anywhere.
Bonbo came down to the office where Mirepoc was waiting.
“Mirepo, what do we do? Should we take this opening to attack?”
Mirepoc shook her head.
“I don’t know what we should do…”
“What about the Director? Where did Mattalast go to?”
“I’m sorry, but please look at the current situation. I have no idea what’s going on.”
Mirepoc tried sending her thoughts to the Director and to Mattalast. At that moment, other thoughts were sent to her. They came from the Magician who could use the same ability as her, her senior from the Guinbex Imperial Army.
‘Mirepoc, what’s going on? Have we attacked Bantorra Library?’
Before, he had sent her a proclamation of war full of hatred. But now he was confused and scared.
‘Why are we fighting the Armed Librarians? Please respond. What’s going on?’
Mirepoc replied in her thoughts.
‘You were all being controlled. And that has now ended. Please convey this to all armies. The war is over.’
Her thoughts cut off. Having lost all tension, Mirepoc plopped to her chair with a thud.
The war was over. Without them even knowing why it began and why it ended, it was over.
Hamyuts was running in the midst of the escaping soldiers. Having lost both the power and intention to resist, she mowed them down as if they were dry grass.
Mattalast finally came after her. He grabbed Hamyuts’s right hand that was swinging her sling, wrapped it around her neck and threw it away.
“Calm down, it’s over! The war’s over!”
He embraced Hamyuts who was still trying to struggle with all of his power. Even though she was trying to shake him off, he didn’t let go of her hand and neck.
“It’s over! Stop this!”
Hamyuts’s movements stopped.
“What’s over? It’s over? Why?”
“I don’t know. Anyway, it’s over.”
While breathing heavily, Hamyuts muttered weakly.
The wet body of the Magic Beast started drying up. Its slimy body was cracking like dry ground. Enlike watched it happen.
Is it over? he thought. I have no way of knowing what happens around the world, but it’s probably over.
Enlike muttered. Arkit’s body was slowly crumbling apart.
On his face was Noloty’s Book. After he turned to sand and disappeared, Enlike extended his hand to the Book.
As his fingertips touched it, the memories began flowing into his head. It was the memory of a small event during Noloty’s student days.
Noloty was gazing at the starry sky from the hospital garden. Her head that had been broken by Ireia still hurt. The dog that ran away was still howling somewhere. However, her heart was clear.
“Noloty-san, you have to rest.”
The one to speak at that moment was Ireia.
“Oh, sorry. I’ll go back soon.”
Saying this, Noloty kept gazing at the starry sky.
“So you have made up your mind. And it is bad for me.”
Ireia could read this from Noloty’s expression.
“…I’m sorry. I gave up on giving up.”
“I have also given up. No matter what I say to you, it will be useless.”
She said and sat next to Noloty.
“So, why? If you say you have no reason I will be worried about your head in a different sense.”
“My reason, huh… well, I can’t say I don’t have one…”
Noloty thought for a while, and then said.
“In short, it’s because this world belongs to me.”
Whenever she said this, everyone was surprised and stunned. Ireia also made such an expression.
“Who decided that?”
“No one will think that way.”
“It doesn’t matter.
My clothes also belong to me, but they don’t think that way. A king thinks of all his country’s citizens as his, but other people don’t think that way. So it’s fine.”
“But you cannot make the world act according to your will.”
“That’s also fine. It’s not like I can make my belongings do what I want either. When my legs hurt I can’t run, and when my alarm clock doesn’t work I end up being late. But my legs are my own and so is my alarm clock.
So even the things that don’t work the way I want them to are mine.”
Ireia tried running this twisted logic through her head.
“Oh well. You are fine that way.”
Noloty clapped her hands, seemingly happy. There truly were only few people who could understand her. Ireia spoke to the rejoicing Noloty.
“…So, is there anything good here? If the world really is yours.”
“A lot of things. Or rather, there’s nothing but amazing stuff.”
Noloty rose up and spread her hands.
“Because if someone becomes happy somewhere it all belongs to me. I believe that’s amazing. I find this world extremely important. Irresistibly precious.”
“Are both enemies and allies precious to you?”
“Yes. Any and all people. Because all of them belong to me.”
She made no exaggeration. Noloty truly believed these words.
“Have you ever thought that this brings you trouble?”
“I have, but I have no choice. Since the world belongs to me, I have to do something for it. I’m so stupid and weak that there’s almost nothing I can do, though.”
Noloty formed a somewhat lonely smile.
“But having trouble is not a big deal for me at all. If I’m the only one to suffer then having another person be happy balances it. So if two or three people become happy I’m actually making a gain.”
“Is that fine? You are going to stack up hardships.”
“It’s fine. Everyone’s happiness belongs to me after all. Everyone is much happier than I am suffering.”
Ireia shook her head with a wry smile. She was probably thinking that trying to convince such a girl was useless.
“Why do you think the world belongs to you?”
Noloty replied while smiling.
“My daddy said so.”
Noloty spent her childhood at her hometown along with her father. She lived while watching the back of that powerless man who tried protecting their village.
Before long her father became ill. What did he think about when he left such a young girl behind? He probably thought of her and the villagers’ miserable lives.
He left nothing for his daughter’s sake. So those words were probably some minimal encouragement. Embracing Noloty with his sick body, her father spoke thus.
“Do you pity yourself?”
Her father spoke strongly.
“Do not do so. No matter what’s taken away from you, even if you have nothing left, don’t pity yourself.”
Half of these words he spoke to himself. He was a man who had been unable to attain anything of value and then lost everything.
“Don’t live just giving up on everything and hugging your knees. You can go anywhere. You can do anything. I approve you.”
“Okay. Got it.”
Noloty nodded strongly. Ever since she was young she had never doubted her father’s words. For the world he was probably a pitiful man, but for Noloty he was her one and only father.
“Understood, Noloty? If so, then this world belongs to you. Live while thinking that.”
Live strongly. Have a big heart.
What her father wanted to say was probably something like that. However, Noloty believed in her father’s words much more strongly than he thought she would.
“Got it, daddy. Everyone belongs to me.”
Noloty interpreted her father’s words literally. Without doubting his words even once, she lived according to them.
It seemed impossible. The reason for her to have the outrageous notion that the entire world belonged to her, the source of the power that held back the world’s destruction, was the words of a middle-aged man who had nothing.
Noloty was an unbelievable fool. A huge, extraordinary fool that had no equal in the world. And because of that she saved the world.
If Noloty and Arkit had never met each other, what would have happened? He would have been killed by Daltom according to plan and the Armed Librarians would have been destroyed.
If Noloty had given up on saving Arkit, what would have happened? Arkit’s hatred would have not disappeared, and the Armed Librarians would have definitely been destroyed.
If she had regretted her attempt to save him for a single moment, the Armed Librarians would have probably been destroyed. She would have been unable to put an end to Arkit’s hatred.
In short, it was all due to Noloty’s power. If she weren’t there, the world would have been destroyed.
“Do you understand about Noloty now, Arkit?”
Enlike muttered to the lump of earth left behind after the Gloomy Lizard had vanished.
She truly was a foolish girl. She was weak, unreliable, and always, always caused people to worry about her. She never realized just how worried people were for her.
If she made a decision she would never go back on it, never listened to what people said, always bothered them and caused nothing but troubles.
However, Noloty was the ruler of the world. She had no crown on her head, no title, not even a plot of land the size of her fist, and not a single retainer. And yet she was the princess. Although she could control no one, she owned the entire world; a foolish, odd princess. Even if no one would acknowledge it, Enlike will.
There was a country in the world whose only law was to not be unhappy and always smile. That country was the places Noloty’s hand could reach and the places Noloty’s figure could be seen at; it was Noloty’s country.
“You and I are the Noloty Country citizens.”
Saying so, Enlike turned his back to the ground. He wanted to go away, yet his feet did not move. Now that Noloty’s wish has been fulfilled he had nothing to do. He had nowhere to go.
Enlike simply stood in place.
The long fight against the Indulging God Cult has ended. But what was left behind after it?
The battle did not produce anything. None of the people involved became happy. Those who were meant to live in peace died, and dreams meant to be fulfilled were broken.
Did this victory have any meaning? Nothing would have been lost had it not begun.
The tears that were exhausted after Noloty’s death returned to Enlike’s eyes. He cried by himself under the cold, cloudy sky.
Thus the war was over, and only hell was left behind. That was the only result of Kachua’s war meant to spread Heaven in the world.
An officer of the Ismo Republic ran to a corner of Bantorra Library’s town.
“Is anyone there? Did anyone survive?!”
There was no one to reply to or hear his orders. The commander ran around town with all his subordinates no longer among the living.
A tank soldier was groveling next to him. He crawled around while holding his right shoulder with a bloody left hand.
“My hand’s gone, it’s gone, my hand’s gone! Where is it?”
Even if he could find his right arm he could probably not return it to how it was. The soldier couldn’t understand even that.
Around him were probably his comrades. A soldier sat next to an overturned tank. He was shouting towards the surroundings.
“There’s still someone under it! Save him, someone save him, someone lend a hand!”
Human feet poked from under the collapsed tank. There was no way the soldier pinned under it was still alive. The other soldier tried alone to move the tank helplessly.
A child came walking. It was a child who lived in peace on Past God Bantorra’s Island.
“Daddyyyyy, daddyyyy, daddyyyy… waaaaah!”
Was he run over by a tank, killed in a bombardment, or was he killed by the Armed Librarians? There was probably no one who could anymore on that chaotic battlefield.
Armed Librarian Kyasariro stopped the bleeding of her comrades. Minth came shouting at her.
“Are you stupid?! Leave the Armed Librarians for later! Even if you leave them alone they won’t die!”
“…I’m fine, let me do it myself later…”
The treated Armed Librarian spoke listlessly. Kyasariro followed after Minth as if she was pulled by her hair.
The Armed Librarians who could still move scattered all over the place trying to desperately rescue people.
I wonder why… killing a person takes an instant, yet saving one can take many minutes and even hours. It’s so unfair, thought Kyasariro.
All the remaining False Men gathered in one hideout. Tablets wrapped in paper were placed before them. They were not aiming for Heaven; they were the people who dreamt of Kachua’s wishes coming true. They were supposed to succeed his dream after the destruction of the Armed Librarians.
Kachua wasn’t merely a cruel and unjust person. Only his dream was his true intention.
“Were our ideals defeated?”
“We have had a nice dream.”
“Yes, a nice dream. Too bad.”
One among them started faintly laughing.
“What, are you satisfied thinking that way?”
“Heaven is now only ours. I will go first.”
Saying so, the man picked up a pill and drank it down.
“I’ll also go quickly, I guess.”
The remaining people drank the pills. One of the two remaining people spoke.
“Will we really be able to go to Heaven?”
“We will. We definitely will.”
The other man drank, and one person remained.
“But I wonder where Heaven is?”
He drank the last pill. Leaving neither a will nor a Book behind, they all disappeared from the world.
Hamyuts was sitting inside the ruins. Both her hands and her body were covered in blood. She was staring at the sky with an engrossed face.
“This can’t be…”
She ended up surviving again. Why was that? Although she kept fighting so far, she still survived again.
Cigal and Mokkania who managed to drive her to the verge of death… Enlike with whom she was supposed to fight to the death… Vend Ruga and Olivia who made her afraid… and the one she wanted to be killed by, the one who had embraced his love, Colio Tonies.
They’re all gone. They’ve all left me behind. And it happened again.
“Is there no one? At this rate I’ll grow old, become a granny, and then die. Is nobody’s coming? Won’t anyone come for me?”
Hamyuts simply muttered.
“Please come, someone, come to kill me…”
Lascall was muttering in some unknown place. He was holding the stone dagger in his hands and overlooking the entire world with sensory organs humans did not possess.
“The long, painful fight has reached an auspicious end. Nevertheless, how did we reach this state of affairs?”
Lascall closed his eyes.
“No matter where I look in the world, I can find nary a single cry of joy or a single smile.”
Lascall was speaking to himself in that place where no one could hear him.
“Even if it brings nothing forth, and no matter how vain it is, as long as it is the story of a human, I will keep granting it a continuation.”
Lascall’s figure disappeared.
“However, it is all in vain. It is oh so futile. Will the day to raise voices of joy and smiles at each other never come?”
A year before the battle was settled, there was a certain small incident that happened incident a little before Toatt Mining Town’s Dragon Pneumonia Incident and without any relation either to the mortal combat against the Indulging God Cult nor to Noloty’s death.
A pupil was called into the principal’s office of a certain Librarian Training School in Rona. He was a thin boy with brown skin.
“This isn’t a big deal, but your hometown…”
“Is this about Big Sister Noloty?”
The intelligent-looking boy immediately grasped the principal’s intentions. He was worried about the strange girl who had recently become a trainee.
“How’s the village? Did everything go according to Noloty’s wishes?”
The boy shook his head.
“Although she left, nothing will change. They will only keep slowly cornering themselves.”
The principal’s shoulders drooped.
“It’s fine. At the very least I’ve changed. If Big Sister Noloty can’t change anything, then I will.”
The boy nodded.
“She is much more stupid than me, but I admire her. So I will definitely become an Armed Librarian.”
A year later, the Armed Librarians were saved by Noloty and by a single man that she had saved. One could say that she saved the Armed Librarians singlehandedly. Hamyuts, Mattalast or any of the other Acting Directors in all history were all truly far from this kind of achievement.
The boy’s dream will probably come true. After all, the one he admired was the best Armed Librarian in history.