This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, Masadeer, and Yeenie.
This was the library?
After Restua had left, I felt like inspecting this library hidden inside the maze, since this was the first time I’ve been here.
Uhh… how should I describe this, I felt this place didn’t quite look like a library—the sound of the water gurgling past could be thought as an apparition or even music being played. And my eyes suddenly seemed to have seen something out of place. There was a huge coiling tree standing in the middle of the library; I couldn’t pretend my eyes were merely having convulsion.
There were no bookshelves all typical libraries should have, nor was there any place where books can be placed. Inside this large space, the ceiling and the edge of the library could not be seen. There was only a huge thousand year old tree. Unlike the common banyan tree or pine tree, it was a huge tree I don’t recognize. The tree pierced through the sky, and I couldn’t see the top of the tree. What made me surprise was the tree being slightly transparent crystal green, and I can vaguely see the tiny water veins pumping water up the tree trunk.
There was a white staircase circling up the tree trunk, with roof covers, and there were also people walking up and down. Lots of Spanish moss was hanging down acting as a curtain. With just one look at it, one can see this tree have existed for a long time.
The surrounding air was very fresh, because we are in the forest, right…?
…Where did this forest come from?! Wasn’t I supposed to be going to the library?
“Yang Yang, this should be your first time coming to the library, right?” Holding onto the white based, golden edged, thick book, Chifuyu looked at me, who was completely stunned, and he smiled with confidence.
I nodded my head. In fact this is not a library but a botanical garden, right?
I even saw a person holding onto a book while sitting on a swing made out of Spanish moss, flipping the pages while attentively reading the book.
This place really is the library. There’s no mistakes, right? But why were there were no bookshelves for people to search for books?
There were several pavilions, two-storey rooms, and etcetera, around the huge tree. And inside, there were comfortable seats prepared. There were people who came down from the stairs, holding onto a book, and directly went in there to find a place to quietly read their book. Other than the natural sound of water, birds singing, and also the fresh air in the surrounding area, everything seemed to be very peaceful and quiet. There were even some people who fell asleep on their seats just like that.
It felt like an extremely wonderful resort, and it even comes with a forest, allowing one to relax and unwind oneself.
“Welcome to the library.” A voice drifted over from behind me. I immediately turned around and saw a small child standing behind me. But then again, was there someone behind me earlier?
There was a child of about seven or eight years old. I couldn’t determine if the child was a girl or a boy, however, I was able to confirm in one second was he or she was not human. How should I put thi… If one were to see a normal looking child with suspicious fur on his head and a furry tail behind his back, one would definitely have the same exact thoughts as I do. The child was wearing a blue Japanese styled kimono, brown hair braided at the back, making his head look even smaller and his ears more prominent, “I’m the librarian here, Acker Lily. If you have any questions regarding the library, I can help you out.” He blinked his golden kitty eyes while as he said happily, and constantly wagged his tail.
The name sounded like a name for a little boy, “Uhh, little boy…”
Before I could finish my sentence, I was smack from behind by Ryan, “She’s a girl.”
“And Lily is at least three hundred years old.” Chifuyu added this sentence in passing.
Turns out she was an old woman.
“Hateful, how could you guys so casually reveal someone else’s age.” The kitty child held onto her face and twisted her little body shyly. Then, she hit Ryan’s thigh (because her height was only up to his thigh), “A girl’s age is a secret.”
“That’s no longer true for you since a very long time ago.” Chifuyu pushed back his glasses, pouring a bucket of cold water.
“Little kid from Yukino Clan is really not lovable at all.” Instantly changing her expression, Lily snorted and glared at him with her evil looking golden eyes.
“Right, right, since everyone says that anyway.” Chifuyu, who didn’t seem to care about it, turned around and then he passed the book he was holding to Ryan, “Yang Yang, since you are already here, want to take a look at the library?”
Honestly, I still don’t understand how this place was library. In my eyes, this place was just like a huge botanical garden.
* * *
When I started walking up the stairs, it was only then that I found out this place was actually very spacious, and abundant with people.
Not to mention on the ground, there was even something that looked like bubbles floating in midair, and the tree, with its branches spreading out, was also scattered with several seats. Almost all the seats were already taken by the students, some were around the same age as me, some were a lot younger, and also there were also those who were older. I think these are all students from different grades.
“You must feel it’s weird for there to be no bookshelves here, right?” Chifuyu took me up the stairs for a certain distance before he halted. At one side of the tree there was a hole, a rather big hole, the kind of size able to fit a baby inside. Basically, while we were going up the stairs, every once in a while I’ll see this type of hole, some of the holes had people standing in front of it while some did not. And I certainly don’t know the reason why those people were standing in front of those holes.
“Nn.” I looked at the hole in the tree; no matter how I look at it, I still don’t know what was it for.
“You’ve heard of a Wisdom Tree right.”
I do know of this, this term appeared in a certain light novel before.
“This is the Wisdom Tree.” Ryan patted the side of the tree and said.
“Your expression is really weird.” Narrowing his eyes, Chifuyu then pushed back his glasses and continue saying, “The Wisdom Tree’s roots goes through another dimensional space and reaches out to the entire world. As long as it’s a book you can think of, you can find it in the Wisdom Tree.”
I was surprised as I stared at the tree that pierced through the sky, with a type of magical and wonderful feeling.
Chifuyu put his hand at the side of the tree and closed his eyes. After a few seconds, I heard a loud thud. A thick black cover book appeared inside the hole in the tree, on top, was a few large words I couldn’t read, “You just have to think about the thing you want to search for in your mind, and the Wisdom Tree will help you to analyze and find the book most suitable for you. And if the area of the search is relatively large, then there will be several books at once.” Taking out the black book, Chifuyu continued, “Remember to return the books after you are done with it, or else you will receive… retribution.”
“… I understand.” I didn’t really want to ask what the retribution was. In short, I’ll just have to return the book like a good boy and then everything will be fine.
“Since Yang Yang is already here, I guess we’ll just analyze senior’s teleportation charm here, if there are any problems, it’ll also be more convenient to immediately look for other information.” Chifuyu glanced at me, I immediately nodded quickly. In short, it would be for the best if there was someone who could help me out, or else if I had to look for it alone, I’ll probably search until I drop then, and I still wouldn’t be able to find anything.
After walking down the stairs, Ryan, who was one step ahead of us, found an empty Chinese-styled pavilion. On the first floor, there were a few female students who were already there reading their books. While the second floor was empty, on top was a low table and earthen chairs. On both sides were small cupboards where pens, papers, and some necessary tools were placed there; this was extremely well prepared.
Placing the thick book in his hands onto the table, Chifuyu dragged a few soft pillows over and threw one at me, “Oh right, did you sketch out the shape of the teleportation array?”
Shape of the teleportation array?
“Ah!” The five-coloured rooster head sketched it.
I handed the notebook to him, and at the same time, I also passed him senior’s teleportation charm.
On one side, it seemed like Ryan wasn’t planning to participate in our discussion. He was holding on to a book and was in the midst of working hard. I secretly glanced at the book title… Incantation Arrays for Beginners? What kind of strange book is that?!
Wait a moment, wasn’t Ryan qualified as a robe level?
Chifuyu opened the book to a certain page, and after noticing what I was looking at, he explained, “Ryan is only strong in using illusionary weapons, but fails in other areas.”
Uhh… that’s really miserable.
On the page Chifuyu turned to, there was a reduced size of a diagram of an array, which was around eighty percent similar to senior’s, “This is the basic teleportation array. After familiarizing with it, many people would make use of this as a base and will add in extra modifications. The teleportation charm senior gave you also falls in this category.” He took out the notebook to allow me to compare.
Indeed, there were only a few parts were different. The diagram on the book was very clear, but due to the five-coloured rooster head only sketching out an approximate, I couldn’t immediately make out the modified parts.
“The teleportation array will remain there for about ten seconds when it’s in an idle state, but when I saw yours, the duration of its appearance was even shorter. I think it’s made that way to prevent the enemies from chasing after you during a fight. Senior had slightly adjusted the time the array will remain before activating. In an idle state, it would appear for only a few seconds.” Chifuyu placed the teleportation charm on top of the table, and then lightly tapped it with his fingertip, “Teleportation Charm, for a period of time, stay stagnant at the place where my finger points.”
A faint light shot out from Chifuyu’s fingertip and expanded outwards. In about a thirty centimeter radius, a reduced size of the teleportation array was slowly rotating on top of the table. “This is the basic array for the light and shadow incantation. There are also contracts with the Water Elf and Earth Elf within.” With a pen and paper on one hand, Chifuyu raised his idle left hand and quickly drew the complete teleportation array on the white paper.
Inside was mixed with a lot of totems and text I couldn’t read. It was several times more detailed compared to what the five-coloured rooster head had drawn.
The small array was just slowly rotating, and I took this opportunity to compare it with the diagram on the book. Sure enough, there were lots of differences, but the main lines were very similar.
“The time where light and shadow interlock with one another, moving the protection of earth and water. This is a type of teleportation array are prepared for a battle.” After two minutes, Chifuyu removed his fingertips, that light array immediately disappeared. And on the white paper, there was the exact same diagram drawn, “Seems like senior’s knowledge is very wide. He can actually modify a basic array this way.” He began praising the senior whom he worshiped.
“Yang Yang, you can first try to memorise the basic array.” Chifuyu guided me to try drawing one time on the notebook, “Basic teleportation array is drawn with the basic light and earth elements. Look here, this symbol here is the earth element’s symbol…”
So to say, it’s rather easy to draw the basic array. It was quickly completed, because the lines weren’t so complicated, and there weren’t too many lines. So after Chifuyu’s detailed explanations, I could approximately remember the whole diagram. It was just like remembering an oracle bone script.
Finding a common ground made me feel rather happy, Magic Array wasn’t actually very difficult to learn.
However, there was another question that came to mind, “Oh right, how do you keep this array in a charm?” I guess it can’t be that one would need to directly draw it on the charm, right? The charm’s so small, it can’t be that we would need to use a magnifying glass to draw?
“It’s very simple, most of the arrays can be kept this way, but there’s no other way for the larger arrays.” Chifuyu took out a chalk-like object from his backpack. He cleared up a small empty space nearby, lay on the floor, and quickly drew up a basic teleportation array.
That… wouldn’t we get scolded if we drew graffiti on the floor?
Putting the chalk away, Chifuyu stood at the middle of the array, “Yang Yang, you need to remember this. It’s not difficult to draw the array, but it’s difficult to meet the conditions to initiate or keep the array. You have to coordinate with some hymns, charms, materials, etcetera.
Ah? I suddenly felt Magic Array was difficult again.
“The first initiation would be more troublesome, but it’s not so bad after it’s kept inside the charm. Just like what you did before, you’ll only need to throw it and keep it.” After saying so, he bent down, and placed his right palm in the middle point of the array, “Interlocking time of the light’s shadow, the power of the earth that moves the world, come forth with my incantation, go along with my incantation. East lands, South dissipates, West flows, North protects; come and go according to my wishes.” Just as Chifuyu closed his eyes and finished chanting, I saw the array on the ground slowly emitting a faint light. The whole totem on the ground floated and slowly started rotating.
Then he stood up, and took out a white charm from his pocket, “Return to where it belongs.” He loosened his hand and the white charm fell down. The entire array stopped moving, disappeared suddenly in less than two seconds, and the white paper drifted upwards back into Chifuyu’s hand.
The totem on the ground completely disappeared.
“Just like this, the making of a teleportation charm is done.” Chifuyu smiled as he lifted the charm in front of me.
* * *
Nn… how do I say this? I had always felt it was very simple when they are the ones doing it, but when I tried to do it, it was extremely difficult. This really is the difference between our level.
“Learning Magic Array consists mostly of only memorizing. After memorizing it to a certain extent, you’ll then master the application. Lastly you’ll be able to develop more of your very own Magic Array.” At one side, Ryan suddenly spoke, causing me to be truly shocked.
He was actually still here, so to say, I completely forgotten about his presence! In any case, I heard you’re not really good at this either, boss.
“Since we’ve already found the style of the array, Yang Yang, you can follow this and draw it out for the teacher. There shouldn’t be any problems. Inside are some more detailed patterns, but if you don’t understand them, you can look into this book. All the patterns of senior’s array can be found inside.” Chifuyu closed the white based, golden edged, thick book and then handed it to me.
“Thank you!” He really is a great guy.
There was a few seconds where I was really touched. However, I knew I still owe Chifuyu an explanation.
“That… Chifuyu, I still have something I wanted to tell you.” I knew I still owe an explanation for why I was together with the five-coloured rooster head.
On the side of the room, Ryan suddenly stood up, “I’ll go and get another book.” He closed the book in his hands and went down the stairs. I wasn’t sure if this was intentional or just a coincidence.
In fact, he didn’t need to purposely leave, because he did not give any sense of existence, rather similar to the air.
After Ryan had disappeared down the stairs, Chifuyu lazily leaned against the soft pillow behind him, pushed his glasses up, and then looked at me, “Say it.” I guess he also already knew what I was going to say.
Maybe he really didn’t mind, but I don’t want to leave this unpleasant misunderstanding as it is. This was the first time that I really wanted to treat people who were acquainted with me in this school as true friend, unlike the past where it was only superficial relationships.
“I wanted to clarify the matter about Ziray with you.” Gulping, I saw that Chifuyu didn’t show any unusual expression, so I could only bite the bullet and continue, “I really went back to get my cell phone, and when I came out, for some reason he was outside blocking my path…” Basically I thought I was going to die.
“Blocking your path?” This time it was Chifuyu’s turn to become confused.
Alright, I know I don’t look like the type who would become a target to get assassinated, but you don’t need to show such an exaggerated expression!
“Ah… he said he wanted me to pass on his message to you.” I had almost forgotten about it.
“Nn, he said that if you continued to take on the position of the Yukino Clan, there will be a day when someone from his generation will have to kill you.” Honestly, I don’t really know much about their feud and disputes, so I used a slightly more discrete tone to continue, “There was something about your family dealing with divination and the like, and if you don’t want to die, you should avoid it or something like that.” I think that’s what he probably meant.
Chifuyu narrowed his eyes and was silent in his own thoughts for a period of time. Then he suddenly snorted and sneered, “Didn’t expect the Rogeria Clan to actually give me an advice.”
That was an advice? Because the five-coloured rooster head spoke arrogantly, so it sounded more like a threat to me.
“But he made a mistake. My clan is a clan of oracles not a clan that deals with divination. That delinquent certainly does not have a brain.” This was the conclusion Chifuyu said coldly.
“Ah? Aren’t they the same?” Basically I felt they were almost similar…
“A clan of oracles is more inclined towards working with spiritual language, whereas divination is considered as an additional source of income. There are also prayers etcetera, etcetera, but the main objective of our clan is spiritual language and not divination. There are many people who are mistaken about this.” After giving me a little explanation, Chifuyu scratched his head, “His advice was given in vain, because the fact that I’m the next successor to Yukino Clan can’t be changed.”
“Yukino Clan only has you as the only child?” I thought that this type of clan would give birth to a whole batch.
Chifuyu froze for a moment, and smiled slightly, “Nope.”
“I still have some relatives.” He paused, and then continued maybe it was inconvenient for him to mention this.
During this conversation, I was rather surprised he didn’t seem to have such heavy hostility towards the five-coloured rooster head, “Do you hate Ziray?”
“What do you think?” Chifuyu smiled again, making me unable to guess at all.
“It feels like you really hate him.” After all, his family member was murdered.
“A little, but it has nothing to do with our families’ dispute.” Pushing his glasses, Chifuyu gave a very incredible sentence, “I personally dislike him.”
“Ah?” Not because his family member was murdered?
“Relationship related to work. Even we ourselves have killed before. In truth, we can’t really resent others. Anyway, once a person died, it just meant life has come to an end.” He spoke in a really open-minded way, as though he didn’t really value life, “So I’m not prejudiced against Ziray, it’s just that I really hate the delinquent type of people. Every time I see him, I want to give him one tight slap, should be something like that.”
Wait a minute, then this means that… what others speculated about their family hatred was actually incorrect? The main reason was merely because you dislike him…? Then the five-coloured rooster head thought you hated him, so he dislikes you?
What the hell are these two people trying to do?!
I had a sense of having my energy drained after I found out the truth.
Chifuyu pushed his glasses, “I also don’t oppose of you befriending him, as long as you don’t get killed off by him.”
“Uhh… I’ll try my best.” I’m also very scared of being killed off by him.
“Don’t worry, if you kicked the bucket, both Ryan and I will help revenge you.”
“… Then let me say my gratitude first.” Otherwise what else was I supposed to say?
In short, even if I kicked the bucket, there would be someone to help me to take care of my funeral, right?!
Our conversation came to an end, and the whole pavilion suddenly became really quiet.
“Actually, before coming to the library, Ryan was guessing if you would bring this up or not.” Leaning against the soft pillow, Chifuyu had almost half of his body buried in it, “Although I didn’t have many friends, there are very few people who would speak so directly, like you.”
Was that a compliment? I’ll just pretend that it was a compliment.
“In my clan’s territory, there are too little people for me to make friends with, so when my mom sent me to school, she was probably having the same thoughts.” Chifuyu sat up and stretched out his hands above the table towards me, “I swear with my true self, no matter when and where, I will treat you as a friend, and will treat you sincerely.”
I froze for a moment, in fact this is too serious… So to say, this was also one type of spiritual language? Can’t simply lie to your friends, this felt rather nice.
I listened to the sound of the water flowing inside the library, listened to the sound of the tree absorbing the water, listened to sound of the librarian softly teaching the new students about the things they should be aware of about the library, everything was just so natural.
Then I also stretched out my hand and shook Chifuyu’s hand, “I’ll be in your care in the future.”
Perhaps, this is the first time I officially made a friend this way? It felt good.
Just as everything was so touching, there was a sudden burst of screams piercing through the quiet space, and I saw a lot of people looking at the surrounding area. Lily, who was downstairs, quickly rushed over.
“Seems like there was someone who forgot to return a book.” Unsure of when he came back, Ryan opened his mouth, immediately freaking me out.
Dude, you really come and go without a trace. Wait a moment… what did you say? Someone forgot to return a book?
I followed and looked at where the commotion was. There was someone struggling beside the Wisdom Tree. Lily was standing at one side, not really sure what she was trying to do but it looked like she was trying to communicate with the tree.
“Yang Yang, you must always return the book you borrowed, or else that will happen to you.” Chifuyu coolly told me. Such a nice coincidence that there was a living example.
Over there, I saw a person who had his whole hand bitten by the hole in the tree.
…The wisdom tree also serves as a lie detector?
I’ve decided, it would be better not come here so often especially when I have no business here.