I went to the park to begin training with Shishou, but upon arriving,
“Bah! I knew it! Get lost, I need more time to prepare!”
was all he was willing to say to me before shooing me away.
He was looking at me as if I was some sort of annoyance, and I was so irritated that it didn’t take much before I was storming away of my own accord.
“What’s wrong with him! First, he tells me to never be late, then he tells me to get lost after I wake up from such a nice sleep to come train! So what if I can’t oversleep?!” I angrily grumble to myself as I walk along
There was something that I needed to find time to do though. I can’t say this didn’t work out in my favor, even if it was irritating.
Before long I find myself standing before the grand library. A building that looks far more intense and intimidating when I think of what I’m hoping to find inside. I walk up the stairs with slight hesitation behind each step.
“Welcome Mano-sama. Are you here to visit the Grey Scholar?” An attendant asks out of nowhere the moment I walk through the door
“Y-yes! Ahem! I’m here to discuss something with him. Where can I find him?” I stutter out in surprise
The attendant acts as if I am some sort of honored guest, so I feel a strong compulsion to regain my composure which only seems to serve to panic me more in my response.
Is she treating me this way because Gero is a big deal around here? It’s impressive that he can become an important member of this group of nobles in such a short period, but surely he isn’t such an important member that his associates would be treated with such respect just by proxy. This isn’t even the same attendant either, so did word of my association with him spread that quickly?
“Right this way madam! He is in one of the meeting rooms.” The attendant happily answers despite my stuttered response
“Is he in a meeting with someone? Should I return later?” I ask confused
Just what kind of life is Gero living while I’m not watching?
“The Grey Scholar in a meeting?! Pff, you are a rather funny one miss. No, he claims that the open space and privacy are just better for reading. Not many of the scholars ever use the meeting rooms since there is rarely a use for them, so we allow him to use one when he comes here. It helps keep the reading area from becoming too crowded as well since people tend to gather around him.” The attendant explains with a tone which indicates that she truly thought I was joking
“Is that so?” I say absentmindedly as I take a good look at the massive rows of bookshelves we are passing
One feels like an ant as they move through the hall. The bookcases are stacked so tall and so thick that one can quickly become dizzy as they watch them slowly pass. The ladders scattered around go so high that it seems an impossible feat to reach books more than halfway up the colossal shelves.
Can it really be possible that people are collecting books from up so high? Surely they can’t be. The average person in here looks so lanky that the wind could blow them away, how could they possibly be climbing ladders so high that even I become tense at the thought.
I’m interrupted from my amazement by the sound of the attendant escorting me laughing. As I turn my attention back to her I notice that she is also looking over her shoulder at me, though she quickly looks ahead again when I turn my sight back to her.
“Am I doing something weird?” I ask, embarrassed at the thought of looking like a bewildered child
“No, nothing actually, which is what’s funny about it. Since you arrived yesterday there has been countless talk about the person that calls the Grey Scholar ‘friend’. Several people were convinced that you must be some kind of demon or monster, after all not a single soul here has been able to get him to speak of himself in the slightest. The closest people ever even get to talking to him is when he will answer the occasional question posed towards him.” The attendant says with another snicker working its way up
“hmph! It’s rude to speak so badly of people you don’t know, you know?” I say attempting to look annoyed
It’s scary how close they got to the real answer though, so I don’t think I will pursue this too far.
“Those were just some of the worst theories to come about. Most were much more tame, but you were really the buzz of conversation yesterday. It’s also pretty funny to watch so many people stare as we walk past. It makes me feel like someone important even if I know they are looking at you.” She says as she points at some of the nobles pretending to be reading as they look our way
Now that she mentions it they are doing a horrible job at pretending to not be looking this way. If I wasn’t so distracted by the bookcases it would have been impossible to miss.
“Is it normal for them to gossip like this?” I ask in a joking manner
“More normal than you would think actually. It keeps us entertained even when nothing is really going on, so I like it at least.” The attendant says with a faint smile as she gestures towards a door
“This is the meeting room that the Grey Scholar has reserved. Feel free to take your time, but it would be improper of me not to advise you to avoid interrupting his studies for too long. The libraries administration is quite strict about such things after all.” The attendant says with a regained elegance about her as she gives a short bow and walks away
Even if this place is a bit strange, I can certainly appreciate the importance they have placed on efficiency. I would expect some sort of admittance fee for a place this high brow, and yet they haven’t solicited me for any kind of money yet. Gero said they had expensive books here as well. Their level of trust in random strangers is quite something.
“Hey Gero, you in here?” I ask as I walk into the room only to see highly stacked piles of books
Gero “Ah, Mano-sama. How may I be of service?” Gero asks as he peeks out from two columns of books
After asking he begins to remove himself from the book piles to stand in front of me. It takes effort not to laugh as he contorts his body in odd angular fashions to move around the books.
“Ahem! I need your help in researching a certain topic, but I need you to keep it a secret from anybody else. Can you do that?” I ask as I snap back into a serious face
Gero “Of course Mano-sama. What subject is it that you would like to know more about?” Gero answers with a look that I can only assume is glee
“I need you to find me all the information you can about Azreal.” I answer