The idea of reading history books from another world has made me happy for the first time since I came to this world. Maybe I’ll forget about this whole training thing and just become a library hermit. I’ll live off the books for everything I’ll need. Food? Just eat a book. Bathroom? Use a book. Entertainment? Actually read them. Friends? My friends will be books. I keep thinking of books as I start to walk my way out of the castle when a guard with a rolled up paper runs up to me.
“Hero, please, wait. I have a form from the lords. They say to give this form to the front office of the library and they’ll give you unlimited access,” he tells me. Oh yeah, I keep forgetting that I technically have hero status now. I wonder if I can go around telling people that and they’ll believe me. For some reason, I have a feeling that they won’t. Anyway, I take the form and as I do I realize--I have no idea where the library is.
“Hey guard. Where is the Grand Library of Colonus anyway?” I ask.
“It is to the East of here, near North Point. There is a portal in the garden you can use to get there” he informs me.
He leads me to the garden portal and I was about to go in, but I stop. Didn’t Will tell me that he’s been the cause of the portals messing up? Eh, I’m sure that he is out of range to be messing them up anymore. I walk through the portal and--JESUS CHRIST WAS I WRONG.
The next thing I know I’m falling down from the sky and I think I’m gonna die now. I’m about 25 feet above the ground and I think I’m gonna land on some cart. If I die I’m going to annoy Will for the rest of his life. I close my eyes and brace for impact but surprisingly I’m not dead. I definitely felt the cart and the ground but I don’t really feel any pain. I open my eyes and see some of that black aura that was on me before when I fought that burly guy and the next thing I know, it’s gone. I have no idea how it works but I guess it only shows up in when I’m about to get hurt, I can’t summon it on my own. It doesn’t matter though, because that stuff won’t help me get books, so it’s useless.
“NO, MY APPLES! WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?” A guy screams behind me.
I get up and look at my surroundings and see that I totally destroyed that apple cart when I landed on it. There’s a bunch of apples on the ground and I see who I suppose is the owner looking distraught and trying to put the cart back together with his bare hands. It’s a sad sight to see, I almost feel bad. I’m going to try to comfort him.
“Hey, man. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade” I tell him.
“. . . . But, these are apples,” he responds.
“When life gives you apples. Make. . . apple juice. . . . The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Ok, at this point, I’m just listing off sayings that involve apples. I don’t think this is working.
“Hey wait a minute haven’t I seen you before?” the man asks me.
“No I don’t think so”
“Yeah weren’t you the one who destroyed my apples the first time! The black foreigner who ran through the plaza!?
“No, that was someone else. I have different clothes and no glasses on. You know, not all black people look alike you racist fascist.”
“. . . I-I’m sorry I didn’t mean to accuse. I don’t know what that last word means but it sounds bad.”
“It’s ok, man. Here, have this,” I say as I pick up one of the apples and hand it to him.
“. . . . But, this is mine.”
“Yes.” I say as a pick up another one to keep for myself and walk away.
As I was walking away, I bite into the apple and realize that I should have cleaned it first because now I have a bunch of dirt in my mouth. I spit it out in disgust and as I do so I realize that I am right in front of the library. At least I hope it is the library because this is the largest building on the street and it looks magnificent. It reminds me of the library of Alexandria in terms of size. Except it’s not on fire. I walk in and--OH MY GOOOOOODDD, I LOVE THIS PLACE. I look up and I just see so many books. They’re everywhere. Just rows and rows of books. I can see the upper floors where there are more shelves of books and I audibly squee which made people glance at me for a bit. I’m in the middle of the welcoming area and I see someone at the front desk. I walk up to them and--OH MY GOD, IT’S SHREK. Ok, maybe it’s not actually Shrek but what I think is an orc (wait shrek was an ogre dang it. Oh well, they’re both green). I didn’t even know orcs existed here but that has to be what this guy is. Besides from the dark green skin he has huge canines sticking out of his mouth and yellow eyes. I also think he’s old because he has glasses on with balding gray hair. This guy has a huge bald spot. I walk up to him and I see that he’s reading a book.
“Um excuse me. I have this form here I was told to give you” I tell him.
But there’s no response. He’s just continuing to read. I can’t get angry though I’ve done the same thing to plenty of people. I connect with this old orc man. May we be the best of friends.
“Um excuse me” I say again.
Still no response. He must really be in the zone. I’m going to have to really try this time.
“ONIONS HAVE LAYERS!” I scream.
“Wh-what was that? Oh, how can I help you?” he asks in an old gruff voice.
I then hand him the paper which he then reads for a little bit.
“Ah, I see. Didn’t know the prophecy said there was more than one hero. Ok, what do you want?”
“Where is the history section?” I inquire.
“That’ll be the 8th floor”
“The entire floor is just devoted to history?”
“Of course it is. You’re in the Grand Library of Colonus. Each floor is devoted to a specific subject. Each floor has thousands of volumes. The size of this place rivals the size of any of the state castles excluding the one here in Dreden.”
“Oooooooohhhhhhhh” is all I could say.
What he just told me made very excited. I found my favorite place in this world.
“Ok, take me there,” I tell him.
“Ugh, do I have to? Can’t you just leave me be?”
“No. I’m gonna need you,” I say.
He sighs and then attempts to get up. I say attempt because he tries to rise from this chair but stops, exhales, and sits back down. He tries to get up again and succeeds and grabs a cane from under the table. He then proceeds to very slowly lead me to an elevator. We both get inside and the first thing I notice is that there are a lot of floors. Looking at all the buttons there appears to be thirty floors and what I think is a basement. It’s just a button that’s completely black which must mean that’s where they keep all the forbidden books.
“By the way, my name is Morgol. I’ve been working here for 60 years,” he tells me.
“I’m Quincy. I’ve been in your world for about 3 days. ” I respond.
“Hmmm, well, here we are. The history floor,” he says as we leave the elevator.
The floor seems to have the center be full of desks and chairs. I see a bunch of people reading at the desks and I think I see students doing homework.
“Ok where is the history of the Westphalian empires? Both the current and old one?”
“That row down there to your left is about the old Holy Westphalian Empire. The row beneath it is about the current Westphalian ‘empire’" he informs me. I noticed that he put a weird emphasis on the word “empire”“.
“What’s with the emphasis?” I ask.
“The current government is only an empire in name only. It’s more so a confederacy given the different states. It’s always bugged me. I think they call it the Westphalian Empire in order to sound tough. You met the lords, they’re the ones with real power. Each state is essentially independent. It’s why they barely get along.” he rants.
I knew something was off about this whole “empire” thing. Because if they were already an empire then why would Will have to restore the old one? Anyway I proceed to walk towards the books and pick one up. I look at the cover and thankfully it’s in English. It’s title is The Decline and Fall of the Holy Westphalian Empire Volume 1, by Vasavir. I look at the books next to it and there seems to be 7 volumes in all. I then look at another collection and it’s titled Emperor Charlamagne. The Birth of the Westphalian Empire. These books have gotten me so HYPED, I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THEM ALL. I put the book back and see that Morgol is next to me.
“I’ll take all of them” I tell him.
“All of what?” he asks.
“I’ve made up my mind. I’ll take all the books on this floor” I say nonchalantly.
“W-What? Kid there’s 2000 volumes on this floor. There’s no way you can read them all. You also can’t carry all of them out of here” he says flabbergasted.
“Yeah, that’s why you’re going to have your staff transport all of them to the castle. Also don’t underestimate my power of reading.” I say a bit annoyed.
This poor old orc is underestimating my true strength.
“Ok, now take me down to the basement,” I ordered him.
“Wait, wait, hold on. You taking all of the history books is one thing, but you also want to take some of the forbidden books?”
“....Well ok then I guess I have no choice in the matter come on,” he says as we head back to the elevator. In it, he does what I expected, as he presses the black button and we start to head downwards. A few minutes go by and I realize that we definitely should have hit the basement by now. But we just keep going. I’m starting to freak out a little bit as 2 minutes slowly becomes 15.
“Ugh just how far down is the basement?” I ask.
“We’ll be there in a few minutes. The basement is 40 feet below the surface. It’s to ensure that these books don’t get into the wrong hands. Also to protect the general population”
“What kinda stuff can happen?”
“Probably the end of the world, these books don’t just contain knowledge in case you didn’t figure that out for yourself. It’s been said that those who are not prepared to read them have died immediately when reading them. Other tales say that those who can read them are likely to go insane. Apparently some have heard demons speak to them. But on the bright side, it’s been said that those who can master these books have achieved unbelievable power but I wouldn’t know they’re just stories,” he tells me as the elevator finally opens and I see a row of books in a hallway on display but with glass over them.
There are also locks and chains over each book. I also noticed that each one is emitting its own aura which is giving me bad vibes. But if I’m going to figure out a way home I definitely have to read the books down here.
“Which of these books are about the Gods and Goddesses?” I ask.
I remember Jana telling me that only the deities here can take me back to my world so might as well focus on that.
“Hmm you’re asking for the oldest book we have here. It’s the one at the end of the hallway. It’s been said that it’s been written by the spirits themselves,” he tells me as I walk towards the end of the hallway.
I look at it and it’s a huge purple book with weird golden symbols on it. It says ƎƉƝƒŽźɄ. Wait what? That is not what I was hoping for.
“Ugh, what language is this?” I ask.
“It’s been said that’s the language of the ancients. Specifically ancient spirit language. Only the religious druids have been trained to read it. So I guess you’re out of luck unless you want to spend 20 years in a druid monastery learning it.” Morgol explains.
“Hmmm. Ok I’ll take all of it” I tell him.
“WHAT?! Kid did you not listen to anything I just said?” He says in disbelief.
“Yeah, I heard.”
“You can go insane.”
“You most likely will die.”
“You saw for yourself you can’t even read some of these.”
“Guess I’ll have to learn.”
"Why? Just, why? I’ve seen book lovers in my day but you’re taking it to a whole different level”
“Books are made to be read, Morgol. I have my reasons. You just need to know that a love of books is one of them” I tell him.
I look at Morgol and he still has a look of shock on his face but he just shrugs and we head back into the elevator. We eventually reach the ground floor again and Morgol heads back to his desk. I follow him to the front desk.
“Ok, so when do you want these books?” he asks.
“Right now.” I tell him.
“Of course you do. Ok I’ll order my staff to get started. This is going to take awhile,” he sighs.
For the next few hours I see workers going into the elevator with wheelbarrows and come back with them full of books. I eventually got bored and took a nap on a nearby couch. After I wake up from my nap I see that the sun is setting and see that Morgol is there behind his desk reading.
“Good you’re finally awake. Well, it took forever, but we moved the books to the castle. We had some troubles with the portals though. Apparently, they’re still messing up. Our workers kept falling from the sky. We put as many books into your room as possible and moved the rest into the castle’s lower levels. All of the forbidden books are in your room. Please never do this again.” Morgol pleads.
“Yeah, I can’t make any promises about that. I might one day want to take your literature section,” I joke.
But the look on Morgol’s face tells me that he didn’t know that I was joking. Oh well.
“Good luck, you crazy kid. Don’t die. I’m not just saying that, remember you can actually die,” he warns me.
“Yeah yeah, I got it.” I say, leaving the library.
I’m outside again and see the portal. Should I go through? Do I want to fall from the sky again? It’s either falling through the sky or walking so eh I’ll go with falling. I leap through the portal and yep I’m definitely falling. But luckily, I fell into a bush in the garden.
Hooray still alive. I go up to a guard and ask him where my room is and he tells me it’s right next to Will’s. I go to Will’s room and yep there’s my room. I enter it and wow they literally just threw as many books as possible onto the floor. My room is now an ocean of books. This is perfect. I waddle my way through to a nearby desk and pick up the nearest book and started to read. As I began reading I heard moans coming from Will’s room.
“Ughghghhhhhhhhhh” I hear Will moan.
He’s either in pain or he’s making love to his loli making weird sex noises. Oh no, I don’t want to listen to that while I read. I get up and leave my room and go into the hallway and knock on Will’s door.
“Hey, Will, you getting freaky in there? Can you not?” I ask.
“Hey, Quincy. N-no it’s not that my muscles are so sore. I went over to North Point today and learned about sword fighting”.
“What? Why would you do that? Our training doesn’t start till next week. You’re not a go-getter.”
“I know but I was bored ok? I also have to go back tomorrow. Actually every day until our training starts Quincy save me”
“Sorry Will you did that to yourself. Just keep the noise to a minimum”
While Will is going to be doing that I for one am going to have fun and read these books for the rest of the week. I shall now become a book hermit.