number 3 thought a bit before saying 'I don't think we have any books on enhanced beings, there are two whole bookshelves about undead you would need to be more specific about what you need or do you want me to bring you all the books in those bookshelves? As for fighting wizards, well we have books apun books for each type of magic I would have to carry a lot of books. as for all the books I would say it numbers around 687,500, ALL OF THEM SORTED BY ME!' number 3 said with pride
Bom thought about number 3's information.
"And what is the most...financially valuable book in the collection? Is there a book made of gold and gems or something? Could you bring us something like that?"
We might as well get something lucrative out of all of this though Bom.
He explained to the others.
"This entire library might be worth a fortune. Then again, if we hand it over to the nearest town, they might just pat us on the head, take everything and send us on our way. We might as well keep the best stuff for those who'll...show appreciation for it."
Ivaan laughed and said "There is no way in the forest fires of the lowest depths of terror I am doing anything with this book." William was relieved to hear that, though he could have guessed that he wouldn't. Reetch and Claire voiced their opinions and then Ivaan turned to him. "Will, You have the final call, what do you think we should do with it?" He looked at the book, and pondered over the question. He suddenly had an idea, he would give these books to the military. That would be the best decision, it would help them as well as their country.
Number 3 as he had referred to as before said "I don't think we have any books on enhanced beings....687,500, ALL OF THEM SORTED BY ME!" William turned his head in disbelief. 687,500 BOOKS?! Bom then asked "And what is the most financially valuable book in the collection?..show appreciation for it." William shook his head. "Selling these books will not end well, not for us or the people we sell it too. We should remember this place, and I will inform the military of what we have found." He said looking around the group.
"...and I will inform the military of what we have found." William replied, creating a plan. It wasn't a great option - by no fault of William's - but it was the best they had as far as she could see. Still, she had an idea to modify it. "We should probably take the most important and dangerous items with us - we wouldn't want them falling into the wrong hands. We might be able to send some of them back early too; I will have some evidence to get to my father after all." she added, thinking it might help.
Turning to the little servant, she asked another question. "Are there any powerful or dangerous items here besides the book of necromancy you gave Ivaan? On a similar note; do you have a library catalog or a list of the library's contents?"
Rias stopped and turned "While no, we can't just leave these books here for some one else to find, and feel free to write this off as my utter mistrust of anyone of noble blood not in this room, but I'm not so sure that's a good Idea, after all was part of that agreement from early for proof about a noble traitor back in Embla? Where there's one traitor there's usually others." Rias said as she made her thoughts known "Though, that then raises the question of what do we do with the collection while the traitors are rooted out, and I admittedly don't have an answer for that, destroying them would be simple, but, like Ivaan and Claire, I find that idea rather distasteful, besides, who knows whats in these books, we could be sitting a on gold mine of knowledge that has piratical uses outside necromancy for all we know." she added, remembering how Abumot used several different magics to raise the dead
'the only other dangerous books are the books on demomancy, but master sealed those away, he said no one should ever use that magic as it weakens the barrier between this world and that of the demons, but master wouldn't destroy them as he doesn't want any knowledge to ever go lost' number 3 said slowly and clearly, he then scuttered off again and came back with a book titled library content, the book seemed very large, it was filled with hundreds of categories each with many sub-categories ranging from basic of life to categories as specialised as spoon based magic, he even had books about children stories and fables, some of which were but in a category of "stories of interest". Each category also listed every book in it.
It was Karen's turn to become interested, having stopped when Rias did, something about the word 'demon' got her attention. She gave a look to the Alicorn "Do these books on demons have pictures? For the description of these creatures I mean" Karen was interested due to the effect she had on the Alicorn when they where bound.
Claire began to work her way through the massive list of books, trying to prioritize which books in terms of danger. First were the books on Demonmancy and Necromancy, followed by other magical tomes of varying types. Taking out some paper, she tried to prune out what wasn't going to be a problem. It wasn't like the books on Fairy Tales were unimportant, they were just less dangerous than the alternatives. When she finished marking down the most dangerous categories, she returned to the conversation adding "So once again, the problem is transport and storage."
As much as it pained her to admit it, Rias had made a fair point; the nobles of Embla couldn't necessarily be trusted with this knowledge any more than Abumot. There were several noble families she trusted, but then she was biased in that regard. "If William can manage to get enough carts out here for transport, we still don't have anywhere to send them. I can think of several people I trust but..." she said, letting the point rest - just because she trusted them didn't mean they were trustworthy. Even discounting the fact that half their group wasn't even from Embla, Rias wouldn't likely trust most nobles, William had his ties to commercial and government interests, Karen was an unknown, and all she knew were nobles - no one truly without ulterior motives.
Bom thought about it. The boss won't let me sell them, Claire won't let us burn them, and Rias won't trust any noble to keep them. Who would be best to look after them?
Bom turned to the others.
"What about the universities? They love this sort of thing. Those college boys probably wouldn't do anything serious with the books, all they would do is study them all day long. It's got to be safer than giving them to just one wizard, noble or king any day."
"We should probably take the most important and dangerous items with us...father after all." William nodded, and then thought about her father. He suddenly froze, he hadn't though about home ever since this trip started. "While no.....piratical uses outside necromancy for all we know." Rias said, he thought about it. It was true that the king and the nobles, were really trust worthy. Number three then started talking, it seemed there was more then one dangerous subject hidden in the books.
"Do these books on demons have pictures? For the description of these creatures I mean" Karen asked number three. Claire grabbed the list of books, and after reading it said "So once again, the problem is transport and storage...I can think of several people I trust but..." Wait that is it... I can keep them myself. I could hide them, and watch over them. There might even be some profit in it, yes that sounds like a good plan. Bom then proposed giving them to the college, which was not a good idea in William's eyes. The college was also very corrupt and power hungry.
"I could get them out of here, I do have several places where I could hide them. I think that would be best for now, since with any other plan we always risk other people using them. And I hope you all trust me enough, to believe I wouldn't sell them or use them for myself." William looked around the group. Now to think of a way to contact Percy... I miss him. I wonder how he will respond to Claire, it will certainly be amusing.
'well master didn't let me look at the demomancy books, but the demonology books should have some illustrations of demons, would you want me to get one?' number 3 asked karen
"Sure" Karen replied to the creature, she didn't know what she hoped to find, but she felt like she had to look anyway "Er, there isn't gonna be a problem with a non magic type looking at it right?
"I could get them out of here, I do have several places where I could hide them. I think that would be best for now, since with any other plan we always risk other people using them. And I hope you all trust me enough, to believe I wouldn't sell them or use them for myself."
Claire didn't have any trouble with the idea, and she certainly trusted William - more then most truth be told. The question then became Rias; was William trustworthy enough for her? She knew the two had been having problems, but wasn't quite sure of the details. And she couldn't exactly blame her; She and William had hardly started off on the right foot. What more, William was - for all intents and purposes - a nobleman and therefore someone Rias didn't generally respect.
"I don't have a problem with it-" she said before turning to Rias and inquiring - with a subscriptive what about you and saying "-Rias?"
Reetch made grumbling noises under his breath, sticking his hands into his fur where trouser pockets would normally be.
'Didn't seem like the others were really taking the situation seriously,' he thought to himself. 'There's no one they could possibly trust with that kind of magic. University folk, Nobles, Soldiers, Priests, Wisemen... sure they might seem reasonable possibilities, but intelligent and kind people can turn when they get their hands on power. This kind of power is wrong, it's unpredictable and unnatural, and now they're looking for more books to take? About demons no less... They were here to kill a necromancer and stop what he was doing, if they take these books whoever they leave them with will turn out bad, nothing good can possibly come of it.'
"If you guys won't be needing me," he said, not looking around. "I'll head back to the surface and wait for you guys outside. This place isn't right..."
Ivaan felt the weight of the dangerous book in his pack, and, after some rummaging, A book on counter-wizardry from an era when magic was a taboo subject, and a book on anti-undead measures, written by some paladin named Rufio Bernadette in the age of the mayfly.
Ivaan finished looking just as Reetch went to leave.
"Colour me undecided slash confused on the book debate. Reetch and I will take the head back to the city. We'll tell them you're on the way. either way, I have in my pack the most powerful book on necromancy in the library, categorized by the worlds most dilligent librarian" He nodded to 'Three' "And written by the worlds most powerful necromancer so far" he flicked a thumb at the burlap sack attached to the side of his pack, "So storage and travel for the biggest threat here is dealt with."
Ivaan yawned, "What time is it? have we been fighting and... librarying, all day?"
Ivaan walked after Reetch; "See you at the town inn I guess. If you need me just get close enough to the city to let me feel your life force. and I'll feel you. Night."
Rias shrugged "Short of utterly burying the library, seems like the best option"
moving the collection was risky, and no matter who got it chances are good it would be a target right quick if anyone got wind of it, still leaving it here was just as bad, better to put it under lock an key then leave it in the open.
Bom was just as tired of the discussion as the others. Everyone seemed at an impasse, and others were already leaving.
"In that case, let's just conceal the entrance for now; block it up with a few stones from the cave in, and worry about the books once all this is over. We have a lot of important stuff to get done, and I can't imagine many people are likely to stumble across the library, and with three here to take care of things, I think it can wait."
Bom turned to the Hansav.
"Now, you said something about a valuable object? Found it yet?"
Number 3 did his usual thing and came back with a book on demonology for karen titled 'Known demons and sub-demons' each demon had a surprising level of detail written about them ranging from appearance to personality, each demon had a sketch of their appearance, it ranged from clusters of tentacles, limbs, mouths and eyes to thing almost identical to humans and the other races, though each having a difference that was disturbing. After handing karen the book number 3 started following ivaan.
"Now, you said something about a valuable object? Found it yet?"
'Kinda, your bear buddy over there has it' The hansav said, this time without the hissing accent associated with hansav, he also gestured at ivaan 'its in the head of that man you guys decapitated, and it smells oh so expensively'.
Claire stared at the hansav while cursing their luck. What was it about this mission that was adding extra layers of difficulty. First the immortality of the the target they needed to kill, then the death of their contact. After they finally contained the mage, they discover a library they can't just leave alone and a thief now wants their hard earned head... She wasn't sure of there was one god, multiple gods, or just a cold and unforgiving world but whatever the case, said thing had to be stacking the world against them. No one has luck this bad after all.
"You may have to wait on that - we need the head for a deal." she said, already expecting the worst. She stared at the Hansav, ready to use her powers if negotiations broke down, but remaining still and (hopefully) nonthreatening.
Ivaan was trudging up the cave with Reetch, the faun-like man carefully pacing through the rubble strewn over the floor.
His crutch creaked a little as he used it to hop over one of the larger slabs of rock.
Ivaan had a slightly worried look on his face. "Supposing Rias leaves..." He had been thinking about this a lot, and wanted to talk to someone about it "If she leaves, like she's been saying she might, that's a lot of our fire power gone." Ivaan paused, "No pun intended."
"The way I see it, she was one of our more powerful fighters." Ivaan said, stroking the fur beneath his muzzle as he walked. "With you and I being the other two, (and I can't heal or buff up people's power while I'm trying to keep golems powered.) while Karen and Bom are more front line hand to hand fighters, and Claire and William are flexible in how they fight." Ivaan heaved himself over another piece of rubble, and went on; "I used to think I could probably try my hand at up close and personal combat, but I'm too slow, I could crush pretty much any opponent, but my attacks land about a year after I throw them." Ivaan smiled sheepishly "And you've seen how Rias moves, I've watched her fight, she moves like a dancer."
Ivaan paused, as he and Reetch moved from the cave mouth and out, into the forest clearing.
Ivaan looked up to the deep orange sky and drew in a deep breath of fresh air, "It'll be a shame to lose her. Not just because of how she's fought, but she's... you know, she listens, and she always knows what to say when you're feeling down. If it wasn't for her I would have found the homesickness unbearable, I'm sure of it."
The hansav started coming down form the bookshelf in cloud form 'don't worry I can wait, it definitely smells worth it' the hansav followed ivaan staying in his cloud form as he did so. Number 3 also followed ivaan.
Bom turned to Number 3.
"Why do you keep following him?"
The group seemed more or less ready to get out of here. Everyone got what they wanted, the library didn't look like it was going anywhere, and the only thing left to do was claim our reward. Bom started to follow Ivaan towards the exit.
Claire relaxed a little at the Hansav's words, but kept an eye on him just in case. There was no telling what he was planning after all. Not to mention that whatever he was smelling had to be a source of some serious magic that really shouldn't be allowed to exist. It it was what was keeping the necromancer immortal, then it was sure to be bad for everyone.
Ignoring the grave robber for the moment, she turned to the others. "So, as I understand it, the plan is to bury the library until William can arrange for its transport back to his estate at Embla, while we take the most dangerous of the books with us for safe keeping. We're headed back to town to deal with the former necromancer properly and finally getting out of this god forsaken swamp - no offense Mr. Bom."
The plan finally set, she started to figure out where she'd need to attack the walls to leave the library intact while making it all but inaccessible.
Karen tucked the book away for the moment, she'd have a look when they had a moment, then followed the others out.
Rias watched #3 and smirked "Aww ... You made a friend Ivaan" she said in jest, she figured #3 was really just following him cause of Abumot's head. She then started out again, thinking about what she was gonna do next, she needed time to think, to sort her self out, but she didn't really want to leave the others short handed.
William looked around the group, he really hoped they would allow him to take them. "I don't have a problem with it Rias?" Claire replied looking at Rias. Ivaan then told them he didn't care, after that he began heading towards the exit. "Short of utterly burying the library, seems like the best option" Rias responded, looking uninterested. The rest of the group began to leave, number three and the grave robber following them. "So, as I understand it...no offense Mr. Bom." Claire stated looking at the group. William nodded he agreed with that plan, he then took a good look at Claire. She looked battered and wounded, he had to do something for her. A thought then struck him, the secret order he had been given at the beginning of the mission.
He had to protect Claire at any cost, or else the general would have his head. He chuckled to himself, he wondered how the general would react to them being in an relationship. He suddenly had an idea, a smile spread across his face as he walked over to her. He placed a hand on her back and he used his secondary power. He then quickly placed his other arm around the back of her knees, and lifted her up. He looked at her with a boyish smile, "I will carry you back Claire." He walked out of the cave, and after making sure everyone was out used his ash. He dislodged a few stones, and the entrance collapsed. He then began heading towards the city, hoping Claire would accept his gesture
Claire was searching for weak points in the tomb's construction when her world rotated 90 degrees. Enthralled by her search, she failed to notice William approach her until it was too late. She felt his hand touch her back, but before she could turn to see the matter, He'd placed his other hand behind her knees and lifted her - resulting in squeak of surprise.
"William!" she called out in shock before he could speak, but other protests were prevented by his words. "I will carry you back Claire." he said, before making his way out of the cave. Claire meanwhile tried to get him to stop for a few seconds longer, arguing in her mind that 1) she could walk just fine and 2) it was embarrassing to be carried when the first was true, and most importantly. She was going to add that he was bound to injure himself if her tried to carry her too far, but between his powers and the look of easy movement on his face that point died in her throat.
Of course, the other part of her mind was already making counter arguments against her - all related to either the passionate ecstasy at being carried by her lover and the more physical feeling of his muscled chest and arms pressed against her. Being the prideful person she was and her general dislike of embarrassment, her choice was obvious.
She blushed lightly, muttering "Thank you William" lightly; she had a feeling that the embarrassment was here to stay. "At least I get the consolation prize" she thought to herself as she wrapped one of her arms around his neck to the opposite shoulder and snuggled into the comfortable embrace.
Claire squeaked "William!" when he lifted her up, she seemed surprised and a bit embarrassed. She then started to try and get him to stop, which he blatantly refused. She then seemed to calm down and accept her fate, "Thank you William" She said wrapping one of her arms around his neck as snuggled up to him. He was happy to see she had accepted her fate without putting up much resistance. He looked down on Claire, noticing her wounds which he had inadvertently caused.
He made up his mind, the party would rest a while before continuing on their journey. Even though he would hate having so many non humans around him, especially that bunch, he didn't have much of a choice. They really needed some serious rest. Up until now they had all been running out of supplies, and using what little power they could muster to just scrap by. Some real rest would do them good, and it would give him time to sort out the problem with Rias. Though convincing Rias and Karen to go inside as well would be hard enough.
Still for now he just had to worry about carrying Claire, he hoped it would give her some much needed rest. Though he would be lying if he didn't say that, part of the reasons he was carrying her were for himself. His mind then began to wonder a bit, if they did stay at the village would they share a room? A light blush appeared on his cheek, which he tried to hid as best as he could. If only he had a helmet with which to cover his face, he then remembered he had once had a helmet and the events up to losing it. He couldn't help but chuckle quietly, back home they would never believe all of his stories.
It was dark by the time they got back to town, as they approached the town they could hear a guard shouting 'their back' soon after which the yama from earlier was standing atop the wall 'So do you have the head or did something else stop you this time?'. The hansav still in cloud form floated up behind ivaan and whispered something into his ear.
"Coward" Karen simply said, then crossed her arms and waited to finish up with these distasteful people.
Rias remained silent, she had nothing more to say to them, and less desire to speak to them.
Ivaan looked at the bag attached to his rucksack grimly.
"Yeah, yeah. We've got your head right here."
Ivaan listened to Hansav's whisper.
"Oh, right, And it turns out necromancers are a little difficult to kill. so the head's still alive."
Ivaan added gruffly, opening the bag to display the contents to the guard for a second.
"So there you go," said Bom. "You got what you wanted. Now can we come in?"
He stood with his arms crossed and his foot tapping. Behind those gates was a bed, food, supplies and dosh, and he'd be damned if this was going to be dragged out any further.
As ivaan opened the bag sparks of electricity shot out of it, but nothing powerful enough to cause injury, the guards jaws seemed to collectively drop. A man powerful enough to control an entire countries worth of undead, a man who could fight an army single handedly, pretty much killed by this rag tag group. It took a while before the head guard spoke 'I...um...how...' he then pulled himself together before shouting with joy 'The details don't matter, open the gates and let these heroes have the welcome they deserve' he then pointed at some guards 'tell the town folk that abumot's head will be burned in the town square for all to see.' The gates lowered 'come in, come in you all have quite the story to share'
The hansav returned to his normal form and said to the group quietly 'do any of you mind if I share some of your glory? Just long enough for me to get what's in the head.'
Bom grinned broadly at the positive response. Finally, some recognition!
'do any of you mind if I share some of your glory? Just long enough for me to get what's in the head.' said the Hansav.
Bom turned to him.
"Why are you so keen on that fellow's brain anyway? I can't imagine it being that tasty."
He swaggered on ahead through the opening gates, trying to look as suave as possible.