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ED: eristol, xtostos
In the center of the Royal Magic Library, a hexagonal tower made of beeswax limestone arose.
There are seven floors above the ground. Along with the seven floors underground, it is a huge building with 14 floors in total.
There is a rumor which says that this building has the largest amount of books on Ichthyes.
Because this building has existed since the era when books were more valuable than they are now, it has been devised to avoid thieves everywhere.
It seems that the room with important books was made to confuse intruders with its complicated arrangements and hard-to-remember structures.
In addition to that, the magic to remove thieves has also been incorporated.
It seems that there are also many other magic to protect books such as fire control and air conditioning management.
Once we entered the room, there was an old man sitting on an easy chair while playing with a brown small dragon and holding a book.
He is the blind library director, Georges Orbis.
When we lightly bowed as we entered, he nodded back as though he could see.
It seems that he read the book and recognized his surroundings using his dragon’s vision.
“Do both of you come to the library frequently?”
“I seldom come here.”
“No, no, Klaus, you hang around this place frequently, right?”
Both Klaus and Auguste are hard-working people.
Without being conceited about one’s own talents, one should train daily and accumulate information.
If there is a library with plenty of books about the field one is interested in, one should take advantage of it.
“Not really. I only have business on the third floor basement’s library out of the fourteen floors.”
“Aa, it’s the area for ancient magic which is forbidden to loan and to bring your own writing materials. That’s just like you, huh~”
For Klaus who is studying Ancient Magic, he will have to go back and forth the library since it’s forbidden to lend the book.
“There is little meaning in banning it. Things like spell, it’s only a matter of memorization and keeping it.”
“Huh, all the ancient magic spellbooks are encrypted and have the same thickness as a brick, right?”
“The only one who can think of memorizing that kind of thing is you, Klaus-sama.”
“Is that so? No, they are just spells, not a dictionary or some story, so you can easily memorize it when you get used to it to some extent.”
“Klaus-sama, if it really was easy, everyone would’ve been able to use ancient magic.”
Klaus averted his eyes with a bitter look.
This person hasn’t gotten used to the fact that he is privileged.
Well, since it is a matter of utilizing time effectively and focusing efforts, there is no reason to blame him.
“B-by the way, Auguste. Eduard was lamenting your deed.”
“Hm~? Is that so?”
“When there are materials he wants to read and he comes to the library, you’re always one step ahead and borrow them.”
“Hahaha, sorry about that.”
By the way, I feel like Auguste and my brother have the same hobby.
They both like dubious legends and ancient anecdotes.
“If you’re really sorry, leave the rare books that are prohibited to borrow on the shelf.”
“Uh……I got permission to do that……”
“That shouldn’t be the formal procedure. Do it in moderation.”
“Well, um, I will accept your advice.”
Auguste made an ambiguous remark as if he was uncomfortable.
I unexpectedly learned the secret of the First Prince’s abuse of authority.
Let’s pretend that I didn’t hear that.
“Ah~ look, Erica. The manuscript room is over there.”
“Oh my, you’re right.”
To escape from Klaus’ hounding, Auguste suddenly changed the subject.
In the direction where he pointed out, I could see the manuscript room where ancient-looking manuscripts were lined up at the rack.
Even now, it seems that mages and alchemists are transcribing rare and dangerous grimoires.
For students with commoner background and aristocratic students who have financial difficulties, working part-time to transcribe the manuscripts is highly recommended.
After the manuscript room, we reached an area where the rows of bookshelves were lined up without a break.
The bookshelves that reached the ceiling are a masterpiece that would make the private collection books of the nobles pale in comparison.
“Come to think of it, do you have any purpose here?”
“Well, let’s see……”
When Klaus asked, I thought about it.
Actually, I just wanted to look at the library, so I don’t have a clear purpose.
Aah, but, speaking of which, there is something I want to see.
“I would like to see the shelves of the Chained Library1.”
“That’s somewhere on the sixth floor. I think we can go upstairs from over there.”
In the direction pointed by Klaus, it looked as if there was nothing.
However, when I went around the back of the bookshelf, there were stairs.
Oh, it’s in a place like this?
This is the structure to avoid thieves that I’ve been hearing so much about, huh.
This sort of complexity has raised the difficulty to find the books as well as increasing the security.
By the way, I wonder what kind of books are placed in the Chained Library.
Normally, it would be the expensive and rare books, but this is a magic library.
Since that is the case, what kind of books are there?
“By any chance, are the dangerous grimoires stored on the sixth floor?”
“No, that sort of things are stored in the underground library. You need permission from the librarian or the director to browse the dangerous ones.” (Klaus)
“The books in the Chained Library on the sixth floor are ordinary rare books. If we’re talking about the contents, they also contain dangerous heretic ideas.” (Auguste)
“Heretic ideas……I see.”
“They are mainly books written on the Southern Continent. For example, sorcery using human’s blood, scriptures related to the eschatological2 cult and that sort of things.” (Auguste)
At the Royal Magic Library, I heard that books containing heretic ideas are preserved without being discarded.
This is not just due to generosity, it is to fight against dangerous ideas coming from the outside or those that occur naturally.
To trace the past dangerous thoughts back to the source and clarify them.
“The famous books 〈Altar as the Celebration of the Highest Existence〉 and 〈Psalms of the Zombies〉 are around there.”
Auguste gave the titles of the dangerous banned books with a carefree tone of voice.
〈Altar as the Celebration of the Highest Existence〉 is a scripture of a godless fanatic cult that was prominent in the past Karkinos.
It includes the doctrine of denying and destroying all the gods and religions rooted on the land.
Tolerance is close to zero, it seems that persecution and genocide occurred abnormally often.
〈Psalms of the Zombies〉 is a scripture of Casketia, or in other words, the vampires.
In short, it seems like an ideology that let people leave their ties of obligation to the living and be immersed in a pleasant death.
“In addition to that, there are scriptures about the ideology of decadence scribbled and spread by the vampires, among other things, and scriptures that were written before the alchemist’s heretic faction, 〈Celebratory Faction〉, escaped to the Southern Continent also remain.”
“Is there such a thing?”
〈Celebratory Faction〉 is said to be the faction of the main criminal of Zaratan’s murder.
In other words, they were those who betrayed Tirnanog and killed him.
After killing Tirnanog and his friend, there is a legend that they took Aurelia’s forbidden techniques and fled to Karkinos.
There are a few anecdotes about the alchemists who can only be thought of as monsters in the South.
Their ideology is 「All of life should be a feast」, which seems to appeal for eternal life.
“As far as I can tell, there are only unusual books that seem to assault you with madness or petrification when you come in contact with them in the underground library.”
“There is that sort of unusual book……?”
“Do you want to see it? Let’s get permission next time.”
“Klaus-sama, I will decline because no matter how I think about it, I am still lacking.”
“Because you are the only one who can browse that sort of books without difficulty, Klaus.”
Klaus probably offered it out of kindness, but it is a casual death flag for me.
Books that have unknown consequences just by reading them are impossible for me.
Since I also accumulate goods and knowledge a lot, events that can be handled have increased.
Still, being an alchemist, I am vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances.
This is the big difference with the mages who have high ability to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
As we talked, we climbed up and down the stairs, went through a route that felt like a long journey, and finally reached the sixth floor
Somehow, I feel like the air is dustier than the other floors.
In the narrow room with low visibility, seasoned bookshelves are lined up.
All the books packed inside the ceiling-high bookshelves are restrained by chains.
This is my first time seeing bookshelves that are strictly managed up to such extent.
“There really is a chain on everything……how spectacular.”
The words that I carelessly said echoed more than I expected in the quiet room.
Then, a figure appeared from the top of the bookshelf.
Apparently, it seems to be a mage who used Levitate to fly.
“My apologies. Please refrain from entering from this point onward. Because we have deployed a Barrier to isolate the spirit body.”
Wearing a flea-colored robe and a staff, a young man in his twenties with chestnut-colored hair landed lightly.
From his appearance, he looks like a staff member of the library.
Oh, I wonder if we interrupted his work.
“Oops, you’re a freshman, huh. Nice to meet you, I am the librarian, Charles Owen.”
Owen said so with a nod of his head.
He is a young man with charming plump features with a serious atmosphere.
“When you said ‘spirit body’, by any chance, did you mean the hanging ghost?”
“It is as you have guessed, Your Highness.”
When Auguste responded, Owen slowly nodded.
The moment that topic came out, a tingling air flowed.
“It seems we can finally clarify the cause. It’s embarrassing that it took us all these years to do it.”
“Is it a real ghost then?”
“No. It’s not real, it seems that it’s a prank of ill-natured alumni. I thought it was strange. Even though we used Consecrate3 and Purify over the entire floor many times, it didn’t work at all.”
“Heh~ I see.”
Auguste seemed to be convinced, but Klaus’s expression became doubtful.
It appears that he checked our surroundings with various types of demonic eye magic.
“This is my first time hearing that there is such a phenomenon in the library.”
“Because it will only appear on the sixth floor. Klaus only visits the underground library, right?”
“It wasn’t reflected on the demonic eye that I used.”
“That’s right. Even when a mage examined it, they couldn’t see it easily.”
“It is also one of the seven wonders of the academy. Since most people do not come to the sixth floor of such a labyrinth-like library, it is not famous.”
Even at this full-blown fantasy magic academy, there are seven wonders, huh.
No, no, speaking of which, in the third scenario there was a ghost story about 「Evil Spirit of All Souls Day」.
At the time when Lindis Magic Academy was in excitement over All Souls Day, there was an outbreak of mysterious disappearances of the young girls of distinguished families.
Meanwhile, everyone thought unanimously that it was due to the 「Evil Spirit of All Souls Day」.
On the night of All Souls Day, someone will either disappear or die every year.
In the bustle of the festival, the corpse of the student that encountered the spirit arrived at the riverbank—
—I mean, it was my corpse, though.
Although I intend to break the flag, what caused me to float on the river is still unclear.
No way, this hanging ghost is not a death flag, is it?
Aah, everything is suspicious.
I wonder if I should investigate……no, this could be a snake4.
I will keep in mind about the ghost on the sixth floor for the time being.
In the end, on that day I just went around looking at the books I was interested in and returned to the dormitory quietly.
1 Chained library: a library where the books are attached to their bookcase by a chain, which is sufficiently long to allow the books to be taken from their shelves and read, but not removed from the library itself. This would prevent theft of the library’s materials. (source)
2 Eschatology/eschatological: part of theology concerned with death, judgement, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.
3 Another spell from dnd. Consecrate is a spell that blesses an area with positive energy. (source)
4 From the idiom poke a bush, a snake comes out.
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