Arc 1 – Lost
Ch. 8 – The library
“Whoa! A library!”
I couldn’t believe what my eyes were witnessing. A real library in the wilderness; inside an isolated cave in the middle of nowhere.
My eyes kept dancing across the newfound room. The floor was easier to walk on. The previously dangerous formation of rocks became an organized mess of wood and boulders; the curved walls were adorned with a seemingly infinite number of ancient carvings and ornaments.
The library itself was a century old-looking fortress. Since the ceiling was extremely far from me in that cave’s room, there was enough space for that building to comfortably extend itself to a two-story size. As my eyes kept looking around, I noticed that the library’s structure was covered from top to bottom with cracks and vines. They embraced the building in a layer of nature.
I was intimidated by the sheer amount of history that could be hiding from daylight in that place.
My feet began to subconsciously walk forward. Tip, tap, tip, tap; my steps echoed throughout the room in a steady rhythm. My gaze kept quickly shifting from one place to another as I admired such a feat in architecture.
The wolves kept following me, attentively paying attention to our surroundings. I am still grateful for what they are doing with me. I really am…
Our trotting soon reached to a stop. I was looking directly at the front doors. If I extended my hand just a little bit, I would open the door. Before doing so, I took a deep breath of courage.
The door dragged with protest; it felt like I was pulling a boulder my size and triple my weight. After that small session of exercise, I was finally inside the library.
Nothing really strayed from what I expected. However, there were countless books scattered across the floor in a mess of ripped paper and covers. It was as if a tornado had hit the place and destroyed almost everything.
It was sad, really. I wonder how much knowledge had been destroyed.
But that wasn’t what bogged my mind the most. It was the simple and obvious question anyone would ask in this position.
“Why is the library in this place?”
It was an obvious rhetorical question. Who would answer it anyway? I doubt there’s someone that knows about this place. I could be wrong though.
I took another deep breath and walked in further. I began to explore the place, picking up the old books that were still somewhat whole and taking a look inside them. What I immediately noticed was the language they were written. They were my language or at least an old variation of it. I could barely understand them.
I took one of the books on the ground and read the title. It was confusing and I barely understood it. I couldn’t deny I was intrigued by it, even though I’m not really keen with plants.
After putting the book where I found it, I began to do the same with the other books: pick and read, rinse and repeat.
There were countless titles among the readable covers on the ground. Most of them were parts of books where the content was unreadable. I couldn’t help but wonder at what happened in this place or why this is a place at all.
My stomach called for help. The reason I was in this cave’s room was to find food after all.
“Now, where are those luscious blue apples?”
I stood up. Those apples would be my salvation from hunger. I surely had to go after them if I wanted to survive.
Honestly, I never understood why the blue apples were so different from the rest, even if they were apples. They are basically the same in appearance except for the color, of course.
But the difference was undeniable. The blue apples were extremely sweet and they generally emit an exquisite, honey-like smell. How they acquired those characteristics? I have no idea.
Although I didn’t have many chances to put my hands on one of them: they were rarer than your usual red/green apples and their demand with the nobility was extremely high as well. What I did, however, was being near one. During one of my classes, one of my classmates had brought one to school.
Just being near one of those makes you extremely hungry. My situation didn’t help in the slightest too.
As I was leaving the library, something caught my attention. On the corner of my eyes, I saw a small glimmer, barely noticeable. It came from a small mound of destroyed books. Something told me that I had to go check it out.
I glanced back at the wolves. For some reason, only their ears made any movement. They were silently attentive.
Taking note of that, I slowed my pace and tried to make the less amount of noise possible.
Pit… Pat… Pit… Pat…
The cave was still, unmoving. Its eyes seemed to loom over me ominously, taking note of every step I took. My sweat trickled down from forehead to ground in a trickle that barely caressed the ears of any living creature two steps closer to me.
I reached the small mound. There was nothing remarkable on the surface so I immediately began to take the barren books off. Piece by piece, I carefully reached my objective: a small book with a velvet cover and golden ornaments on the borders of front and back. I meticulously picked it up and examined it further.
After sliding my eyes across the book, I took note of the cover’s details: an old drawing with round curves and sharp edges branching out from the center of the cover.
That seemingly messy drawing is most certainly a Crest. That was, by far, the only thing I could take from the book. But even then…
“I’ll take it with me.”
The book was fairly small. It wasn’t thick like the usual schoolbooks so I could easily carry it around. It didn’t cost me anything to take it with me. I also couldn’t take any book bigger than thi, and that’s not even mentioning the low ratio of book/barrens.
After holding it comfortably close to me, I carefully made my way out of the library only to see the wolves growling at the ceiling restlessly.
“Oh not again—!”
Due to unforeseen circumstances, it couldn’t be updated yesterday. I’m sorry.
Thanks, Shirayuki for editing this chapter.
> Updates every Friday <