Present – December 28, 1926
On the same day as the party, far away from Bantorra Library, something was happening at the Ismo Republic.
The Overseer of Paradise Minth Chezine was snoring during daytime. He had taken off his shoes and was lying on an old sofa.
“Advisor. Please wake up, Advisor.”
A female voice came from overhead. Minth opened his eyes. The old lady hired to serve him tea stood up with a pout.
“What is it, I had a good nap. Just shut up.”
Minth said while rubbing his eyes.
“There are visitors from the bank. Please don’t sleep in the parlor.”
“I have no choice then.”
The room referred to as the parlor was a small room that had two sofas and a table in it. The furniture seemed to be high-class in a glance, but was actually made of cheap items.
Minth left the room and started strolling around.
It has been nine months since he left Bantorra Library. His body that used to be muscular had somewhat withered. His rigid face also lost some of its edge.
Ever since he assumed office as the Overseer of Paradise, Minth spent his days doing nothing related to battle.
The Advisor to the charitable organization “Margent Humanity Progress Foundation”. This was Minth’s official, public title.
“Even advisors unexpectedly have no work to do.”
While muttering this, Minth looked out of the window.
This was the outskirts of the Republic’s capital, Morarl City. He was in a room in an old building built almost thirty years ago. Outside the window, as if leaving the traces of the so-called pioneering area, spread a dusty-looking townscape.
From this four-story building, Minth bought the third and second floor out of his own pocket. He used the second floor as the Foundation’s offices and the third floor as his apartment.
The first floor was the office of a certain lawyer. On the fourth floor was a small trading company that imported soap and other cosmetics from the Principality of Rona. Both of them had no relation to the Indulging God Cult.
A simple room in a building. This was the headquarters of the New Indulging God Cult created by Minth.
For those who remembered the old Cult, this would only seem to be one of its secret bases. They would suspect that the real headquarters were at a different place and that this was nothing more than camouflage.
But it was not true. This was unmistakably the headquarters and there were no other bases anywhere.
It was far too small and populous when compared to Kachua’s era. In the past the Indulging God Cult caught the big shots of the financial and political world and controlled the world from the shadows. Yet now it was crammed into such a small building.
“Shall I take a break?”
Minth lit a cigarette. He stopped smoking during the time he was an Armed Librarian, but recently got back to it.
To stave off his boredom, he started leafing through the documents on his desk. It was a summary of the planned activities of the organization Minth served as an advisor to.
Officially, the Margent Humanity Progress Foundation worked to support various activities related to the development of mankind. To put it in a better way, they were an organization that worked freely with ideas. To put it in a worse way, he had no idea what they were doing.
For the normal world, this was something like a hobby project that was created using his wealth after he retired as an Armed Librarian a rich person.
Their activities were various. They cooperated with maintenance of public order in certain districts, donated funds for the education of poor children, aided the funding of scientists’ research, all sorts of these worthless things.
Their real goal was, of course, creating the Books of happy people they could bring to Heaven. However, their actual work was no different than one of a charity organization.
Minth returned the documents to the file.
At present they were a small, populous Indulging God Cult. This wasn’t the result of failure nor was the Cult in the middle of expanding. This was the new Cult Minth had been aiming for.
He didn’t want to create happiness while controlling the world from the shadows. Even without money, even without political authority, even without military power, he could create Books of happy people.
Thus Minth believed. And he was putting it into practice.
He found an unfamiliar envelope on the messy desk. When he saw its sender he remembered. It was an invitation to the customary Armed Librarians’ party.
“I have some free time, so should have I gone?”
Minth muttered while looking at the envelope. Thinking of it, the party was that very same day. He had forgotten about it since he didn’t feel like going.
“Ah well. Seeing Matt and Hamyuts would just make me angry.”
He threw the envelope on top of the desk. Pressing his cigarette against the ashtray, Minth suddenly thought back on what happened during the last year. He thought of the new Indulging God Cult he had built as the Overseer of Paradise.
Minth, having been appointed to be the new Overseer of Paradise, had some doubts.
He was about to continue the wicked, repulsive Indulging God Cult by his own hands. He was going to become the leader of the very opponent that they had worked so hard on crushing. Any decent person would have doubts.
However, Minth knew the truth about Heaven. He also knew that they could not oppose the mission to produce the Books of happy people. He could not run away.
Therefore, he decided to change his way of thinking.
Until now, the Indulging God Cult was an evil organization. So all Minth had to do was create a good organization.
It was certainly possible. And that was the job handed to Minth. Gradually he threw his doubts away, and began devoting himself to his job as the Overseer of Paradise.
When he was an Armed Librarian, Minth used his Sacred Eyes to seek out and eliminate the followers of the Cult.
His eyes were able to differentiate between bad and good people. Most of the followers were people who indulged in their desires and lost their conscience.
But not all of them were like that. There were some people who have rebelled against Kachua’s ideology and escaped the Indulging God Cult. He kept those a secret from people like Hamyuts and Ireia and let them get away.
After assuming office as the Overseer of Paradise, Minth searched and assembled these people. He revealed the true mission of the Cult that was concealed by Kachua and made them swear to devote themselves for it. Leading only several dozens of these people, Minth founded the New Indulging God Cult.
The only one to possess any fighting ability was Minth. They had neither a gun nor a sword. But that was not a problem. The New Cult had no need for fighting power.
What he looked for next were True Men.
The thing required to be a True Man was a certain kind of pure heart. They had to have no doubts about granting their desires or their way of living. Unless people were like that, they would not be able to achieve true happiness from the bottom of their heart.
People like Cigal were certainly pure. Because they were pure, they were able to act brutally without any hesitation. There were plenty of people like Cigal among the True Men of the past.
Minth had no intention of welcoming such people as True Men. They had to be people with both a pure heart and a conscience.
Finding such people was hard. People who were truly good were even more precious than 100-carat gems. Throughout his entire life, the only person like that Minth had known was Noloty.
But no matter how rare and precious they were, he had to look for them. Because it was his job.
Wandering around the world, Minth began finding such people.
December 15, 1926
Minth left his office in Ismo and boarded a private plane. It was so he could see how his newly found True Men were doing.
In nine months he found three True Men. It was not too fast of a pace.
He went to the mountain district of the Kuler Region. Minth found one of the True Men at the foot of the towering mountain.
He was a man with a suntanned skin colored dark brown and a robust body. He was dressed in heavy, durable climbing gear. His name was Garlze.
“Yo, I came to see you off.”
“Ah, so you’ve come, Overseer of Paradise.”
Garlze said while looking at the top of the mountain. Minth also looked up to the heavens.
The upper part of the mountain was covered in clouds and could not be seen. In front of their eyes was not a slope but rather a wall. The high atmosphere was dreadfully cold and dry. Garlze was going to challenge this sort of place all by himself.
“Looking at it again, it seems outrageous. Are you really fine?”
Minth said while looking at the sky.
“Who knows. Well, even if I fail it will not be a big deal. Just some fool dying at the mountain.”
Garlze said while smiling.
His usual occupation was a banker at Guinbex. Using his spare time, he went around the world to challenge wintry mountains.
Garlze was a normal person who couldn’t use Magic. The hardships in facing the severe mountains were unimaginable for ordinary people.
Even when he climbs, he isn’t honored by any money. However, he still bet his life even when nothing came out of it. It seemed he was regarded as a queer person with strange tastes by his surroundings.
“I am grateful to you, Overseer of Paradise. My dream was to challenge this wall. This is probably the hardest one in the world.”
Garlze hit the first ice axe into the bedrock. He carefully checked the feel of the rock.
“It’s because it’s our job. Don’t mind it.”
Minth said. The area around them had been occupied for a long time by an armed group that turned from an independent army to simple brigands. For climbers to set foot here was nothing but a pipedream.
Minth eliminated the brigands and donated a large amount of money to a policing organization from the area. The pretense was preserving the life of the citizens around, but the real reason was in order to let Garlze climb this mountain.
However, thought Minth. Why does Garlze want to challenge mountains?
In order to get up to the summit, you only need to ride an airplane and jump out with a parachute. Or one can just use Magic Deliberation to enhance one’s body and become easily able to climb up. That way would be much safer.
He will not get any money after climbing. And yet, he earnestly climbed.
Minth activated his ability and looked at Garlze’s soul. He could see something like a fog or a light around him.
What he could see was the nature of a terribly lonely, awkward soul. His emotions just before climbing were anxiety and a spotted pattern of courage he tried to force down his anxiety with.
Yet inside flickered something much like diamond. It was the beautiful color of happiness that Minth had never seen in anyone before.
“Is climbing that enjoyable?”
“I wonder. When I climb everything is difficult.”
Garlze put his hands to the rock.
“So is it not enjoyable?”
“It’s not. Other people walk their dogs, water their flower gardens, or love their wives, so why am wandering in the boundary of life and death? I always think about that.”
“Then why do you climb?”
“Who knows. But when I stand on the summit, and think about going back to town, I end up thinking of all the difficulties of climbing and it somehow become enjoyable to me.”
Garlze headed to the summit while saying this. Looking at his back, Minth could clearly see the happiness he was aiming for.
His next stop was a wooden house located in the countryside of the Ismo Republic. It was so worn-out that even dropping a single cigarette would end up making it catch fire in no time. Minth smothered out the cigarette he held in his mouth with his bare hands.
A cow from a neighboring farm looked at Minth as if he was something rare. Minth knocked on the door.
“Huh? Why if it isn’t the Overseer of Paradise. What business do you have?”
Coming out was a man in his twenties. With his thick glasses and dusty white coat, one could easily imagine what kind of a person he was. He was a youth called Kwane. He was the first True Man found out by Minth.
“I came to see how you’re doing. How’s your research progressing?”
Minth entered. There was a mountain of iron scraps inside the wooden house. The old dog lying on its summit was Kwane’s only family member.
“You’ve come at a good time. Look at this. I completed unit no.1.”
Kwane showed him an object far from the mountain of scraps.
“I call it “Pina-chan’s thighs”. Are you surprised?!”
The object he pointed to was a small machine that looked like a failed toy. It was called a rocket. It seemed that by spouting out adjusted petroleum fuel from its rear, that reaction could be used to make it fly in the sky. Incidentally, Pina was the daughter of the farmer who lived next door.
Minth mouthed his honest impressions. Without minding any of it, Kwane excitedly carried the rocket. His dream seemed to be to take this machine called a rocket and somehow go into outer space.
He used to be praised as an elite genius in the Science Agency. However, no one could understand his far too wild dream of going into space and so he had lost his job.
Frankly, even Minth was dubious about whether or not one could go into space. Wouldn’t going outside the world that was made by the Creator was beyond what people could do?
However, Kwane continued his research with no doubts or hesitation. Although he was living from hand to mouth, he never thought that he had fallen down in any corner of his mind.
Minth found a certain shape of happiness lying within.
Kwane lighted the fuse. A small sound, too miserable to be called an explosive roar, echoed as the rocket rose into the air. It flew for about fifty meters and then fell down with a flop. This would be about the distance Hamyuts could jump, Minth thought.
“Yes, amazing! It’s just perfect!”
Minth couldn’t understand it, but it seemed to be a success. It was one step towards space. Was he a genius or a fool? Perhaps there was no great difference between the two.
At that moment, a loud voice came from nearby and a man came running. He held a pitchfork in one hand.
“Aah Kwane! How many times do I have to say this! If you frighten the cows they won’t give any milk!”
Minth knew him. He was the farmer who lived next door. Kwane hurriedly escaped into his house.
“Wait you idiot! How many times have I told you to stop your stupid research and go to work! Hey now, don’t run away!”
The farmer started kicking the door to Kwane’s house. He locked it firmly from the inside. This kind of scene occurred every time Minth came there.
“Oh boy… Kwane’s acting stupid again, huh.”
A girl kicked the rocket lying on the ground. She was the farmer’s only girl that the rocket had been named after. She spoke to Minth.
“You’re Kwane’s friend, right? I heard it from him.”
“Yes, but what of it?”
Saying this, Minth and the farmer’s daughter looked at the shouting farmer.
“Say, is that ‘space’ he’s aiming for the place where there are stars and such, right?”
She suddenly spoke to him.
“Apparently. I don’t know much science.”
“Can one really go into space?”
“I dunno. What do you think?”
“I have no idea, but well, if it’s possible, it would be amazing.”
The girl flapped her hand. She seemed to be flustered.
“Oh no, saying that acknowledges Kwane… I’m different from him, because I’m an honest woman.”
Angry for some reason, she returned home. The farmer dragged out Kwane and beat his head.
Minth also thought about evacuating the entire farm for Kwane’s research. Or perhaps he could have used his connection from his Armed Librarian days so that he could reinstate him to his job at the Science Agency. However, he soon gave up on both of them. He knew that this farm and all of the noise were also a part of Kwane’s happiness. It seemed that he came to know and love these stubborn and simple people.
Minth left the beaten Kwane alone. He hurriedly left the place before he would face the farmer’s rage as well.