Tatakau Shisho - Volume 10 - Chapter Epilogue
FRAGMENT: AT THE RUINS OF THE GONE LIBRARY
May 25, 2018Tgurneu
Mirepoc Finedell was 31 years old. Ten years passed since Ruruta Coozancoona's final day.
’’...It's gotten lonely here too. Everything in the past feels like a dream.’’
Mirepoc muttered while looking at the night townscape through the window.
She was at the center of Past God Bantorra Island. This place was now called the Bantorra Library Ruins.
Ten years ago, this place had the towering, dignified Library that overlooked the town. Encircling it were government facilities of various sizes lined up. A garden even more beautiful than tourist sites was spread out, with well-maintained rows of trees pleasing the eyes of all visitors. These were all destroyed by Bonbo's whales and Enlike's lightning, never to be rebuilt again.
Most of the Library Ruins became a desolate vacant lot.
Instead they built several commonplace and boorish concrete buildings, and a single building that indicated where the entrance to the Sealed Labyrinth was. Mirepoc was in one of those buildings.
On the signboard attached to the entrance, ’’History Preservation Bureau Headquarters’’ was written with undecorated letters.
In the end, after that day ten years ago, Bantorra Library was gone.
After the battle, everything that the Armed Librarian had concealed until then was brought to light.
The concealing of Ruruta's identity... The creation of the Indulging God Cult... The fact that they have brought many of the world's calamities... The Armed Librarians had to shoulder the responsibility for that.
Who would take responsibility and how? They fought over this discussion again and again.
With Ruruta on the front of the list, most collaborators were no longer in this world.
The situation was far too big for someone still living to bear responsibility for it. At any rate it was responsibility for 2000 years since the world began. There was no person who could shoulder it.
Some called out to kill all the Armed Librarians. This was at a stage when the scars left by the Deep Blue Curse Rebellion were still fresh. The anger of those who came to know the truth about that incident was deep.
Some also thought that they should keep going just as it was before without blaming anyone. No matter what they've done, the fact that the Armed Librarians protected world peace was true.
After the chaos consisting of the long, long debates that went back and forth for three years and dealings of politics, they finally reached a conclusion.
That was the abolishment of Bantorra Library and dissolving of the Armed Librarians.
After ten years passed, Mirepoc thought it was unavoidable.
The size of the concealed secret and the many evil deeds done by the Armed Librarians and the Indulging God Cult... Thinking of them it was actually strange for everything to end with mere dissolving.
There were obviously people opposed to this. No matter what happened, it was obvious for them to be angry since they didn't know of Ruruta's existence. Mattalast went to each and every one to apologize and prostrated in front of them to make them consent.
Only the work of excavating Books and managing them in archives remained even after the Armed Librarians dissolved. It became under the control of the section under the Present Management Agency that came to be known as the History Preservation Bureau.
The final Acting Director Hamyuts said during that day that it was the final day of Bantorra Library. In the end it came true. Although the world was able to escape destruction, no one could have stopped the destruction of Bantorra Library.
Among her Armed Librarian comrades, the only one to remain on Past God Bantorra Island was Mirepoc. The others all sought out new ways of living.
She had no way to know how all of them were doing.
Yukizona had exhausted himself completely during that day's battle. His congenital disease eroded his body to the extent he couldn't fight ever again. He returned to his hometown and spent calm days being treated by Yuri.
Bonbo fought on active duty. He snuck into the Present Management Agency to one of the top positions in some international peace-keeping organization.
Surprisingly, Minth kept his work in the Humanity Development Foundation as before. His contributions to the development of mankind were acknowledged and he was able to raise funds from various sponsors. Although the Armed Librarians were destroyed the Indulging God Cult survived. One couldn't help but feel the irony of history.
Kyasariro, Marfa, Luik, Gamo, Rizzly, Tena and Yanku all found themselves new lives. Some of them abandoned fighting and some found new battlefields;they took varied paths.
Enlike Bishile disappeared at some point. His whereabouts were completely unknown.
And Mirepoc alone still remained on Past God Bantorra Island. Her current title under the Present Management Agency was the Board Chairman of the History Perseveration Bureau.
Managing the world's mines, digging out Books, storing them in archives and preserving them - the one supervising all of this work was Mirepoc.
But it was trivial. She merely replaced Bantorra Library's Acting Director.
However, there was one person whose sins were not forgiven.
Although everyone else was forgiven, he alone wouldn't be. Mirepoc also thought so. He let Volken die, captured Olivia, and deceived the Armed Librarians. Mattalast Ballory, who had his hands in many dodgy dealings, was never forgiven to the end.
Mattalast never tried to plead for himself. More than that, he forcibly saddled all responsibility on himself. He used every method he could so that none of his comrades would bear even a single crime, managing to get himself the death penalty. He even made some false confessions to cover for people such as Yukizona, Minth and Photona.
He had protected his comrades in exchange for his life.
Even now Mirepoc clearly remembered the day of his execution. Along with her comrades, Mirepoc rushed to the execution site surrounded by each country's elite soldiers. Mattalast's attitude was easygoing, but the color of fatigue was clearly visible on his face.
The crying Mirepoc handed him a pipe. I won't say it's bad for you anymore so please smoke, Mirepoc said.
’’Thanks, I gave up smoking for a while.’’
Saying that, Mattalast smoked and enjoyed it like usual.
Although there were only a few minutes until his death, he inquired about the lives of everyone. When he heard Kyasariro was getting married he clapped his hands in joy. When he heard Luik and Olivia were dating he widened his eyes in shock. When he heard Rizzly was merely idling around without doing any work he smiled wryly saying he was a lost cause.
When they finished speaking about everyone, they spoke about the movies and about music. They then spoke of good restaurants and alcohol, getting excited about such silly topics. When the leaves Mirepoc brought ran out, he headed toward the guillotine while smiling.
Without caring what other people thought of her Mirepoc wailed, and all their other comrades also dropped their gazes.
But there was only one problem.
The fact that this Mattalast was still alive even now.
Sitting on the Board Chairman's seat in the top floor of the History Preservation Bureau Headquarters, Mirepoc wore a bitter expression.
’’...Long time no see, Mattalast. I never thought I'd see you ever again.’’
She almost used formal language but stopped herself just before. There was no need to speak to him formally. He was a fugitive death row convict. And Mirepoc was the head of the History Preservation Bureau.
’’You've become splendid during this long time we haven't met. You're dignified dignified even.’’
Mattalast answered while smiling. Although he was supposed to be over forty years old he didn't look much different from the past. He only had a few more wrinkles on his face.
’’I just came to see you so don't mind it. I don't need tea or anything.’’
The moment Mattalast tried to fill his pipe with leaves, Mirepoc spoke angrily.
’’No smoking allowed. I hate the smell of smoke.’’
He said and put the pipe away in his pocket while smiling.
When he had walked to the guillotine he suddenly removed his handcuffs as if it was natural and ran away. All the former Armed Librarians who came there to see him off burst in anger. They formed a Mattalast annihilation unit on the spot.
However, when Mattalast devoted everything to escaping even Ireia or Hamyuts couldn't catch him. With Bonbo, even if he won a whole city would be destroyed. Yukizona lost his fighting abilities and Enlike was missing, so there was no one who could stand up to him.
Just like this he was on the run even now.
’’I have a question. How do you keep escaping like this? You're wanted all over the world, so how could you come here so easily?’’
’’Isn't it obvious? It's because I've been doing all sorts of bad stuff.’’
Mattalast laughed. Right. He had a vast amount of hidden assets and even a private army and pawns all over the world. As well as his own overwhelming battle strength. He was probably even able to live comfortably without being a fugitive.
’’If you just came to see me your business should be over. Leave.’’
’’How cold of you. We have a lot we can talk about, right?’’
Mattalast looked down from the window. The now lonely scenery of Past God Bantorra Island was there.
’’Say, who was the one to save the world that day?’’
Mirepoc thought to stop being angry. He was trying to have a serious discussion. They were close enough she could feel that.
’’In the end it was Ruruta. Everything was his fault but it was also thanks to him.’’
Her feelings toward Ruruta were complex. She felt thankful for him having saved the world, but she was also angry at him having killed Hamyuts and other comrades. She was glad he became happy, but also felt some regret at him quitting while ahead.
’’How modest. How about trying to say it was you? No one would complain.’’
’’...That was Chacoly Cocot's power. Not mine.’’
’’No, that was also your power.’’
’’Perhaps... but I don't really think so.’’
Mirepoc furrowed her eyebrows.
’’It certainly wasn't only thanks to Ruruta or only thanks to you. Hamyuts and Chacoly... if those two weren't there, we wouldn't have won.’’
’’Frankly it's quite odd. They were both born in order to kill Ruruta in the first place.’’
’’The Armed Librarians also fought well. Both the living and the dead gave their efforts. I also tried doing whatever I could.’’
Mirepoc nodded frankly. If he weren't there she would have died.
’’But while that's true, I wouldn't really say the Armed Librarians saved the world.’’
’’Yes. Colio Tonies was also there. If he wasn't there Ruruta wouldn't have changed.’’
’’...Yes, there's also him but that's not all.’’
Mirepoc thought that he was now about to enter the main topic.
’’How many people were involved until Colio-kun got there?’’
’’...There was also Shiron who helped retrieve his human heart when he was a human bomb. There's Lascall who brought his Book to Ruruta. And... umm...’’
’’Yes, it was first Shiron. Next Lascall. But that's not all.
Colio-kun also had comrades. When he was a human bomb. The boy called Hyoue and the man called Relia. If they weren't there then Colio-kun would've died as a simple bomb without retrieving his retrieving his human heart. Relia-kun was also involved with Enlike-kun, but that's a different story.’’
’’I knew he had comrades, but that is the first time I have heard their names.’’
Mirepoc hadn't noticed that at some point she returned speaking formally.
’’Hammy's also related of course. You and I as well, although indirectly. There are also the woman known as Ia Mira and the youth known as Cartohelo. You probably knew nothing about them as well.’’
Why does he know so much about Colio? Mirepoc questioned this but didn't mouth it.
’’If they weren't there, if Colio-kun hadn't met them, he wouldn't have been able to reach that place. And that's why I think he's one of the people who saved the world. If by saving Ruruta Colio-kun helped saving the world, then the people who helped Colio are also the ones who saved the world.’’
’’If Relia-kun is one person who saved the world, then those that helped him also saved the world. And he was also probably supported by other people as well. Family, friends, lovers, comrades, I believe that all them also took part in saving the world.
Also, those who helped Relia were also helped by other people. And they were helped by someone as well. These people, each and every one of them, were indispensible to saving the world.’’
’’...Depending on your viewpoint this might be true, but...’’
Feeling it was somewhat sophistry, Mirepoc knit her eyebrows.
’’Maybe you can't agree with it. But I think so.
Colio-kun alone was involved with so many people. Even you, Hammy, or Chacoly were involved with people in many different ways. And you are all part of those who saved the world.
Then thinking this through, aren't all people in the world our saviors?’’
’’Someone somewhere was just a little kind and helped someone. Someone fell in love with another, and someone protected another. This went round and round and ended up saving the world.
So I basically thought it was this sort of thing that saved the world that day.’’
Mattalast cut his words and Mirepoc also stayed silent.
’’I destroyed many Books during my time as an Armed Librarian. To protect Bantorra Library's secrets.’’
’’Now that Ruruta died and the Library's gone, I noticed just how many of Books I've destroyed belonged to the saviors of the world. How can I call myself an Armed Librarian if I didn't leave to the world the Books of such saviors?
And so, I decided to leave their fragments to the next generations.’’
’’For example, Relia-kun's Book is no longer in the world. Kachua broke it.
But I've searched for people who knew him, and hearing about him from them, by inquiring about his place of birth and his place of death I found out what kind of person he was and what kind of life he led. I can't leave behind his Book, but the fact that this person known as Relia-kun had lived was left in this world.’’
Mirepoc then realized: Mattalast didn't run away just to spare his life.
’’Mattalast-san, did you do it for this...?
Have you kept doing this all the time ever since escaping?’’
’’Leaving behind even a single person's fragments is much harder than expected. But I can't complain. This is something I have to do.’’
Then you should've said this sooner, thought Mirepoc. But she somehow understood. He was good at telling lies, but poor at telling the truth.
Mattalast gazed at the nightscape without turning his face to Mirepoc.
’’I don't know how many decades this will take, but I will come here again.
Not alive but as a Book. By that time I will have engraved many people's proof of living into my soul. So Mirepo. Will you work hard to protect this place protect this place until then?
Books are wonderful. It's easy to forget because they're so close to us. They leave behind the proof someone was alive more eloquently than any words and more accurately than any writing. There are no more any Armed Librarians, but I'd like there to still be Books.’’
He didn't even have to say so. Mirepoc nodded with these feelings. Mattalast didn't look at her, but it was probably conveyed.
’’...Is what I thought that if I say you'd wait before pushing the alarm button.’’
From a serious atmosphere Mattalast's tone completely turned to a joke.
’’I would not push it. Not so easily.’’
Mirepoc's table had an alarm on it just in case. If she pushed it security would come rushing from downstairs.
’’Is that fine? I'm an escaped convict. Even you have a position to uphold now.’’
’’...Why are you so uncooperative. If you tell me that I will have to push it.’’
She reached to the alarm. She stopped her fingers when they gently touched it. Immediately after she thought of pushing the button Mattalast suddenly changed the subject.
’’By the way, I heard you're engaged. Congrats.’’
’’How do you know that!’’
Mirepoc was truly surprised. They have yet to exchange rings and they haven't even told both their families.
’’And it's someone I don't know. Apparently a normal person without any relation to the Armed Librarians? Please introduce me to him sometime.’’
’’...Over my dead body.’’
’’I'll leave you my address later. Won't you invite me to the ceremony?’’
’’Who would ever invite you...’’
’’How cold. Did we not get along well?’’
What getting along are you talking about, she grimaced. When she did, Mattalast's shoulder shook as he was laughing.
’’How lonely. This will probably be my last time teasing you.’’
Without knowing what to answer, Mirepoc stayed silent.
’’My days just keep getting lonelier. Recently I thought about Hammy a lot.’’
For some reason she couldn't continue. She could suddenly sense the scent of death from his profile. Thinking it was just an illusion, she let it vanish from her mind.
’’Well then, my business is done. Time to go, I guess.’’
’’...I so then I will press it.’’
’’Don't worry. Since it's me it'll be fine.’’
Mattalast smiled and said. The faint scent of death was gone.
’’I will not worry for you.’’
Her fingers pushed the alarm. The same time the sirens started ringing, Mattalast leapt out of the window.
Mirepoc approached the window. She looked at Mattalast's back growing distant.
’’At any rate, why did you have to come here all by yourself without being called? You're selfish, irresponsible and self-centered.’’
Mirepoc muttered toward his back. These words somehow felt empty.
Security guards rushed from downstairs. Listening to their footsteps, Mirepoc watched Mattalast's figure slightly floating in the darkness.
Ruruta Coozancoona's Book was dug out of the Library Ruins after the battle was over and preserved in the archive. Since it recorded the memories of tens of thousands of people, it was so large that it couldn't even normally be carried by two people.
Thousands of people visited the History Preservation Bureau every day to read Ruruta's Book. What did it give them? Coming to know the truth about the world, what did the people think?
Some came to know how wonderful love was. Others came to realize love was foolish. Some reconfirmed how wonderful the world was, and others lamented that the world should have been destroyed.
What influence did reading Ruruta's Book give to people? It led them to a new story. They inherited Ruruta's soul to create new stories.
This story has no final chapter.
Even in the future people would laugh, cry, fight, love, and while losing what they've gained, they would engrave their stories into their souls.
All the while living in this world which is neither paradise nor hell.