The Pagemasters Vol. 1 Chapter 2

 


Author: Literataku


Chapter 2:
Spit Out These Sentiments

 

 

My life wasn’t in shambles for any old reason. Though I suppose Karma was looking for a way to let me know how bad things were going now. Just a month ago I was just a quiet ordinary Otaku living in my quiet ordinary life. I had a good job as an accountant for a publishing company, I wrote web novels on the side, one or two little stories, nothing too major but mostly just to have something to do.

I was a good person, even though I had few to no friends. Blah blah blah. One thing led to another and I was killed in a car accident trying to save a young girl’s life, and then the god of the dead, King Yama, gave me a chance to redeem my life with being- Oh you’ve heard that one…

Falling asleep at my desk I was suddenly awakened by a young goddess, she pleaded with me to save her dying world. The demon god was defeated by the Hero, and now someone needed to clean up and rebuild humanity. I would receive powers beyond imagining as long as I promised to restore everything and become- Dammit you know that one too!

So my grandfather found this ancient Egyptian puzzle, taken from the tomb of an unknown Pharaoh, a puzzle that only I was able to put together and when I did powers of darkness unleashed that made me the- Oh ok. You know that one too. Fine, I’ll tell the truth…

My name is Shikiro Momotarou. I’m half Japanese born and raised in Kyoto. And I’m a twenty-seven-year-old Isekai-maniac. I wanted to be different, to live in the worlds I had been vicariously living through manga, anime, and even my writings. I became obsessed with Isekai, the other world summoning stories. Wishing I could be the hero in those tales, hoping upon hopes that one day I’d wake up and find myself inside such a fantasy world. The fame, the money, the harem of cute and beautiful girls…Ok, mostly for the harem of girls.

And I certainly wasn’t going to find that living in the real world. So all I could do was hope and pray that some god would take me to save their world, and make me powerful enough to do it easily. Too bad I didn’t ever heed “be careful what you wish for” on that day everything messed up.

It all started with the worst storm of the decade. It had started brewing from out of nowhere, the clouds had been light and fluffy all morning but had thickened into the blackness of nightmares by afternoon.

I had just gotten off work and I was getting ready to head home by way of the trains when the power died, it was late enough that the manager and I were the only ones left when she locked up the building and drove off after seeing me towards the train platform. This part of town was mostly business and warehouses, nothing open after six unless someone needed to stay late at work.

I wasn’t the only one there when the station lights turned off suddenly. I can’t recall all the details right there, maybe there were five of us, maybe more or less. A couple of them tried cell phones but either the connection was bad or the power company wasn’t giving any time frame of when there would be lights or even a train for that matter.

Forced to huddle under the train covering as we waited in the chilling air for about an hour before the storm completely let loose. It was like a tsunami opened up in front of us, the wind blowing harshly into the station building, sputtering as the rain whipped into my face some of us tried to look for some building that might still be open. Others were trying to get a signal on their phones to try and call friends or family to pick them up.

“Over there!” A woman’s voice called out, I think she was an auntie that worked at a reception desk next door, she pointed into the dark street below. I took a glance at her first then followed her pointed arm, she was a nice looking auntie from what I could tell in the rain and dark, at least from her figure, her voice certainly seemed to tell more of her age than anything. I would think about basing a new character off her in one of my stories.

Just a short way down the street was a man waving towards us from a building, holding up one of those fake vintage lanterns that used halogen lights instead of oil. He was shouting something that I couldn’t make out, but motioning for us to hurry to him.

Shelter from this downpour was a plus on everyone’s mind, so we began our immediate departure from the station, fighting our way down the stairs and into the street. The wind and rain seemed to get even stronger as we battled toward our salvation from this storm. I could feel things starting to shift, trying to blow any of us across the way. “Quickly now! Get in before the storm rips the doors off!”

I bowed my head slightly in thanks as I passed the man. He seemed to be a bit ragged even for his age, definitely in a later end of his prime. He ushered everyone in and then he and one of the last ones in pulled the door closed, locking just in time as another gust of wind blew down the street, I swore I almost saw a parked car sliding down the road.

Looking around the hallways I noticed that a few lights were active inside, flickering slightly but keeping steady and thanks whatever gods were looking out for us there was still air moving inside. A building with a generator, at least we have a couple of hours before we get stuck in a completely stuffy building then.

“Quite the kamikaze in’t? Ah, haven’t seen of its like in decades.” The man spoke plainly, and against even the rain and wind outside, I could hear him clearly. He was a foreigner for certain, maybe Irish. As people slipped off wet coats I began to see that a couple of my storm companions were also from differing origins.

“Dammit… I had a date planned for tonight!” A man slightly older than I was, maybe in his younger 30s, grumbled and half-punched his fist firmly against the wall, he had certainly held back from what I could see of the muscles under his shirt. He seemed American, through his hair was darker than mine, seemed strong, outgoing, one of those types that got the girls fawning all over him just for existing. The guy that won everything in web novels and mangas, and make it look easy all the while satisfying gigantic harems of beautiful women. The kind I would remove first thing in any story I was ever involved in to keep the ladies to myself. Riajuu explode!

“Not like you can’t get another one later, Harmon-san. Knowing you she’ll be apologizing for the weather and begging for another shot.” The auntie called out to him, with a little laugh. Now that there was some light and her coat was off, I could see she was good looking, a decent curve along her body that was just a little on the wider side, just a small fleck of white in her amber colored hair and hint of wrinkle on her face that, overall, made her rather cute.

The guy, Harmon, chuckled quietly and sighed nodding. “Yeah.. you’re right, Kichi-san.” Riajuu! … Just die… Please… Leave some girls for the less fortunate males around you.

“Out of the storm, lights and air conditioning. I’d skip a dozen dates over being out there right now.” A young woman spoke, looking outside the window, a crash of lightning shattering the darkness beyond the door seemed to emphasize her point. I nodded in agreement, taking a moment to enjoy the feast in front of me.

She was curves that screamed woman, and yet she wasn’t overly so but enough that her Harajuku jacket seemed to be a little strained holding closed over her breasts, yet there was still a hint of daintiness that still hinted underneath. Maybe the jacket was a hand-me-down or old memento because she didn’t look like she belonged in it while wearing the business style skirt and heels that flowed from below. I kind of wished she take off the jacket but she was clinging to the front of it quite securely, leaving to only my imagination how beautifully cute she was underneath.

Another lovely girl shivered and moved further inside glancing around with a shiver, she had been one of the first to get out of her wet coat and was looking a bit anxious to get away from the door. She also had carried the air of a woman, but a woman who liked being in charge or she would be lost. Her long blonde hair was streaked with rain making it flat and sticking to her face as she tried to rearrange it. Unfortunately, her makeup was starting to run from the overbearing amount of water we had run through just moments ago. “Since we are all nice and safe-ish. Is it alright if I can use the restroom Mr…?”

“Silas Clarion. If we all move in further we can get into the safer rooms away from the windows and outside walls. The restrooms are just down the hall and to the right, we’ll be on the left side through the double doors when ye are finished .”

She bowed slightly and moved in a hurry to correct herself no doubt and clean up. “Thank you so much, Clarion-dono” The other two ladies followed her, leaving with Clarion-san and the Riajuu. Have I said Riajuu explode?

Following them both down the hall I glanced at the odd picture frames lining the hallway, starting to notice them, illustrations of various stories I had read as a child. Amaterasu and the creation of the world. Susano the warrior and Orochi. There were a couple of western stories mixed in as well, Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Some green-tunic wearing archer guy, a girl laying in a glass coffin, Snow White or maybe it was Sleeping Beauty I can’t remember the stories well enough, weren’t they both sleeping and/or dead for some reason? The only reason I know Red was the color of her clothes and the wolf.

“What is this place, Clarion-san?”

“This is my life’s work. A library that surpasses all others. A collection of every story ever put to pen and paper by man. Protected so that people will always have The Word to rely on no matter what.”

I felt something tingling in the back of my head, scratching my cheek as I tried to recall there being a library in this part of town. I thought I knew all the ones between here and home considering that I’m responsible for about 30% of the annual donations of books from the light novels and manga I finish reading.

“I don’t really remember there being a library here… is this a private collection?”

Clarion laughed, reaching forward and pressing the door open slowly, letting us look at the rows upon rows of shelves. “Yes and No. Anyone who desires may enter and read as they wish. But those who would silence what lies within these books will never be welcomed as long as this place stands.”

If this was a story that would be a red flag if I ever heard one. Of course, one would have to be paying attention to him, I’m quite certain he knew what he was doing because I was far too distracted with the vast number of books before my eyes. Stepping in as I looked around in awe I couldn’t wrap my head around the sheer amount of books and papers organized all around us. The vast space even opened up above us showing more bookcases going up every floor to the ceiling. Did the God of Literature just grant me a wish?

“Feel free to pass the storm in here, if ye know of it I have it. Just use one of the computers over here to find what ye are looking for, they can find and help with everything you would like to see.”

Taking him at his word I bow and offer my thanks before rushing calmly toward one of the computers. He might have some original Isekai books in here if what he was saying is true. Taking a seat I sat down and immediately grimaced for half a second. W***ows 95. The guy was using ancient computers to run everything in here, though I guess when you have so many books it is bound to happen. On the screen was an Ex*el style catalog and even my old nemesis, the thrice-damned Mr. Paperclip, sitting there casually in the bottom left of the window.

(I see you are looking for books. Would you like assistance?)

Well, I guess it can’t be a perfect dream, at least he wasn’t using index cards anymore. Ignoring Mr. Paperclip I type into the search field and begin scrolling through the list. Looking through things I started writing down a couple of titles that seemed like they would be good attention grabbers for weathering the storm comfortably. Then I noticed something Mr. Paperclip is saying.

(I see you are looking at Isekai. Would you like to create your own instance?)

I paused and raised my eyebrows. Was there some hidden game on this piece of antique hardware? Curiosity was getting the better of me as I clicked {Yes}.

(Please input the desired Isekai parameters)

{F-A-N-T-A-S-Y}

(I understand. Preparing to create Isekai. Please input coordinates for starting {FANTASY})

I drew a blank on this question. What the hell was ‘coordinates for starting?’ I clicked the help button looking for more detailed explanations.

(If you are having trouble I can automatically fill in this variable. Do you wish to proceed?)

{Yes}

(Using Current Coordinates. WARNING: This will overwrite current instances located here. OVERRIDDEN. ERROR: System MALFUNCTION- WARNING: Laws of physics destabilizing. Initiating failsafe- ERROR OVERRIDDEN)

I started to panic, looking around for Clarion-san. Hoping I hadn’t broken something when there was a lurch that knocked me back into the chair, looking at the screen my heart sank as I saw the texts whirling past faster then I could keep up.Catching only glimpses of words
(System Failure… Transmigration… MONEY… activated… DAVE… Commencing… EVERYONE overwrite… DEAD…. 54353*9873242 ABC123… DAISY… ISEKAI….1000%…)

Everything started to shake, books falling off shelves, I could hear one of the girls screaming. Harmon tripped trying to scramble to safety, and I was stuck sitting in my chair watching the horror just beginning. Things began spilling out of the books all around us, monsters and demons, angels and heroes, witches and ghosts and everything imaginable spilled out and began to take over everything in front of me. There was a burst of light, and then it all went black.


 


3 Comments

  1. I like the 2001: A Space Odyssey references… nicely done.

    That system clearly wasn’t debugged properly prior to being released… using current coordinates my great aunt Fanny!

  2. Point noted: never take advice from an ancient piece of software.

  3. I’m loving all the references. It does make sense that he wasn’t riding a bike.

    I’m also loving the twist.

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