Chapter 77: Spirit Library

Translator: Haruchin   Editor: Marky

Alright, I’m finally here in the Telmist Peninsula. Even though it isn’t the typical island with a sandy shore, the clear, deep blue waters of the ocean form a great contrast with the white limestone beach, and the resulting scenery is breathtaking. A single mountain rises in the south, while a narrow mountain range runs towards the north, and a valley stretches on in between them. A castle stands in the southern mountain, while a citadel is built on the eastern beach. The king’s mausoleum and shrine stands in the west. A circular fortress city stands at the dead center of the valley, and it is emptier than all the other cities that I have visited so far. Tall trees are sparse, too, probably because the rain doesn’t fall that often in this place. There are some of those towering trees inside the city proper too, but they were probably planted by the inhabitants dwelling there.

The island is divided into three countries— one huge nation and two smaller countries that are vassals of the larger nation. Peace had already reigned in this place for a long time. However, they built the citadel at the coast to ward off the intruders from the Mainland that were trying to invade them from time to time.

Aside from beautiful sceneries, this island also boasts of different specialties, including two famous products, namely the lace produced by the town of Kalaré and the silverwork of Hash’luna. I also thought it’d be nice if I could check the lace and silverworks, but I need to go to the temple first. I have to secure the essential books before I splurge.

When I reach the temple that Ludere instructed me to go to, I honestly feel some misgivings whether I’m in the right place. It is in a state of decay. A bald, bearded old man wearing a flaxen cloth that was so long he was dragging the hem on the ground came out.

「 State your purpose. 」
「 I was told that a certain book was left in this place, so I came here. Is it possible for me to take a glimpse? 」
My misgivings increased.

Still, it was the only building that fit the description of the place that had been pointed out to me.

「 Oh, raven hair and lilac eyes, yes, indeed, that appearance — you might be the person that Ludere-sama’s oracle referred to. 」
「 He told me to come here. 」
「 So Ludere-sama also left you an oracle too, eh. 」

I’m not sure if it’s proper to call what transpired as an ‘oracle’, but it is a fact that I was told to go to this place.

「 This way. 」
The wall made from stacked up stones is crumbling in a lot of places, and I could see some fissures running through it. The stones on the pathway aren’t placed flat, so it is easy to stumble if you’re careless.

Nevertheless, the room that has an altar and a statue of Ludere is in a better state. It had been maintained quite well. A ray of sunshine shone on the statue from the skylight window.

「 Pledge the vow of silence that you will not tell a soul about the things that you will witness from here on. 」
「I make the oath. 」

The old man did something, and the valance on the wall behind the statue suddenly opened, revealing a yawning passageway. An androgynous child — a spirit — holding a candlestick, had already appeared in the passage before I noticed.

I’m not in my ‘seeing’ mode yet I could still see that child, so that means the person is probably quite a powerful spirit. Blue hair, blue eyes, skin as white as porcelain; he looks like Ludere even if his overall color scheme is different.

I turn my seeing mode on. There is no candle on the candlestick; it is just a small light spirit playing around.

The child looked at me once before walking, as if telling me to follow him. The old man is apparently only up to this point. He remains at the entrance and just bows his head slightly towards the child.

I follow the child spirit. We only have the faint light from the spirit. And the secret passageway makes me feel excited!

We walk along the dark passageway until we reach another door. It opens into a magnificent library with a domed ceiling and mosaic floor. Light spirits are fluttering around. The area near the ceiling is bright like the sun’s rays, but the light that falls on the books is very faint. I get it now, candles aren’t used because of fear of fire, and direct sunlight will damage the books.

We walk out into a wide, straight corridor — it could be described as a hall, even — and both sides are flanked by huge bookshelves that are way taller than me.

The shelves that are two and three stories high have walkways before them. The first storey shelves also have aisles and doors, and all the shelves that I can see are brimming with books.

It is probably an underground room, but because of the high ceiling, the entire space doesn’t feel cramped. Even the corridor before me seems like it stretches on to infinity, after all. Wind spirits are also here, so even though the scent of books permeates here, the air isn’t stagnant.

「You’re looking for a book about magic, summoning and spirits, right? 」
「Yes. But I’m also curious about how this structure came to be. 」

The child went to the dais that stands in the middle of the wide hallway, and he (or she) took the single book lying on there. He handed it to me in silence.

When I receive the book, he walks away once more. He then prompts me to open the door between the bookshelves. I do so, and a small room with a table, chair and a couch enter my view. He then closes the door — this is the end of the guide, apparently.

The book I was given contains the overview about this library, as well as instructions on how to use it. Apparently, this place was originally built because of a book-crazed emperor. His thirst for knowledge urged him to collect all these books regardless of the expense. His empire wasn’t on this island but on the continent further south, currently known as the land of the flying dragons.

Not only did he disregard the cost, he gathered the books found within his empire and in the several countries that were under his rule. He even took the books from passing merchants and boats that were anchored at the harbor. He made copies of those books, and instead of the original, he would return those ‘copies’ to the owners. He really did use force in order to obtain and increase his book collection.

Unfortunately, that empire was gobbled up by the monsters and the dragons.

Afterward, the book collection was left to rot or to burn, but Ludere decided to transfer them to this place. And so, the spirits of books were born and they combined together to form that child, who then became the spirit of the library. That child is Ludere’s retainer, it seems.

The book collection of this library is still expanding even now, with more books added into it. It is said that when the naughty spirits play tricks and erase the characters and letters in the books, those letters would appear on a plain book set on the transcription rack, and it would become a copy of that book.

…Wait a sec, don’t tell me they erase those letters not because they’re playing a prank, but to copy them, or else to fill the original book with a different set of letters and symbols?

Anyway, there is a rule in this library —  if there is only one copy then taking it out of the library is forbidden; it doesn’t matter whether the book is precious or crude. If there are more copies, then I have to obtain permission first before I can take it out. Fair enough.

If the person who borrows the book dies, the book will automatically return to the library, so there is the possibility of being killed by the spirits if one were to take the book out without permission.

One can go to the librarian — the child spirit earlier — to ask for permission or help if he can’t find the book on his own. Be discreet when making a sound. Food and drinks are forbidden inside the library, but drinks are okay inside the small room.

Okay, so it seems like there are only the spirits and me inside this library now. Usually it would be super noisy even without talking, with all these spirits fluttering here, but strangely enough, there is only silence here. The spirits here are not simply light and wind, they also possess the attributes of silence, stillness, and quietude. Some spirits also have attributes such as gentle breeze, calmness, soft light and serenity, so that’s the situation here.

Ludere said this was a temple, and it did give off those isolated, tranquil vibes that you get from shrines.

Ludere governs over Earth, Silence and Magic, right. I wonder now, how long has that spirit existed now? I’m pretty sure he’s older than the librarian here — wait a sec, is Riche way older than him? What?

One Comment

  1. Thanks for the treat.

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