WG – Chapter 162: The Librarian

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“…Alright. I have certainly received the entrance fee of 2,000E.” 

I lost to the pressure of the bespectacled lady and easily forked over the entrance fee. 

I feel like 2,000E is a rip-off, but considering the money I have, it isn’t that big of a deal. 

It is a cheap price to pay to escape from the pressure of those eyes.

The bespectacled lady is apparently the librarian. 

I feel like she was in the game too, but I didn’t get involved with her too often, so I didn’t remember her. 

Once Ina learned that the entrance fee is 2,000E, she leaked out at the entrance unconsciously: “Uuh, that’s not fair, Souma-san…”

Which the librarian picked up and didn’t let go. 

As expected of Train-chan. 

Looks like she is still peerless when it comes to aggroing unnecessary stuff. 

…No, well, I got my just desserts though. 

By the way, Sazan not only didn’t have the entrance fee, his whole fortune was 30E, so Mitsuki was the one that paid for him.

Moreover, the moment he entered…

“U-Uwaaaa! S-So many books!” (Sazan)

He shouted this and ran off somewhere alone. 

Be silent in the library at the very least. 

It must not have been good that I spaced out there thinking about that…

“Were you listening?” 

“Uh? Y-Yes, of course!” (Souma)

The Librarian called me out. 

I answered yes in return, but I of course wasn’t listening. 

Her glare assailed me and cold sweat flowed down from my forehead. 

The Librarian-san’s voice got even lower, most likely suspecting me completely here. 

“You weren’t thinking of something underhanded again, right?” 

“N-No way…” (Souma)

I hurriedly denied that, but Maki, who was watching this as if amused, whispered behind me. 

“So you say, but maybe you are thinking you can steal as many books as you want from the library with your teleport technique~?” (Maki)

“Wa?!” (Souma)

She might have said it as a joke.

But it still made me snap. 

Even if I think about it as the usual frivolous remark, I can’t just let it go.

“…Take it back.” (Souma)

“Eh?” (Maki)

Anger welled up even further at the surprised Maki. 

I didn’t hide that anger and looked back at Maki.

“Souma?! C-Calm down…!” (Ina)

I pushed back Ina, who hurriedly tried to mediate here, and I stood in front of Maki.

There’s a decent difference in height between me and Maki. 

I looked down and glared at Maki.

“Uuh…Souma?” (Maki)

Fear got mixed in the voice of Maki. 

That didn’t calm down my anger though. 

There’s things that are fine to say and not. 

“Stealing the books of the library as much as I want with the teleport technique? Don’t joke around!” (Souma)

“Ah…I-I am—” (Maki)

Maki was about to mumble something, but it didn’t enter my ears. 

This being a library and the Librarian-san being behind me had disappeared from my mind. 

I shouted as if smashing my overflowing anger onto Maki.

“Just how much effort do you think I…we Nekomimi Neko players went through thinking about ways to steal the books here?!!” (Souma)

“Sorr—eh?” (Maki)

Maki was dumbfounded here and I pressed on further. 

“Spells and skills can’t be used in this library, and we can’t use Infinite Mirage Prison! The theft identification is at the entrance of the library even if you try to stealthily bring it out, and the books in this place can’t be stored in storage items!

Even so! Even so, our predecessors racked their brains out, believing there’s a way, and they finally thought up the Mole Style Teleportation and Shoplifting Dash! In the first place, going out of our way here to—” (Souma)

I was getting more and more heated, but the voice that rang behind me cut me off all of a sudden.

“…Can you please tell me about that in detail?” 

A hand was placed on my shoulder with a chilling tone, and I nervously turned around. 

“Is it okay for me to take those words just now as a confession of theft or an advance notice?” 

The glasses of the enraged Librarian-san were there, and I froze up at those eyes that could kill people. 

(This is bad. This person is super pissed off…!) (Souma)

Her words alone are gentle, but her decisive tone is proof of this. 

The pressure leaking out of her is unbelievable. 

Is this the aura of a person that can do her job? 

Her age shouldn’t be that different from mine and Leila’s, but the aura around her is completely different. 

I don’t think I can go against this pressure I haven’t experienced before. 

I look at my comrades, seeking help. 

The very first person I made eye-contact with was Mitsuki, who was expressionless, but her cat ears were lying down as if saying ‘I am so ashamed…’.

I don’t think she is going to be helping me here. 

“…” (Ringo)

“Souma-san…” (Ina)

Ringo and Ina were looking at me with really sad eyes like those of fans looking at a star athlete that caused a scandal. 

It scraped off at my heart, and I feel like asking these 2 for help would be bad as a person.

And the last one is Leila, who at some point in time was standing behind the Librarian-san with Death Bringer in hand. When our eyes made contact, she tilted her head cutely. 

I was wondering what in the world she was doing, and her mouth moved without letting her voice out. 

{Should-I-kill-her?} (Leila)

At the same time as she did, she made a gesture of cutting the neck with a knife. 

Shivers ran down my spine. 

Her yandere trait had suddenly flared up. 

(You must not kill her! Must not!) (Souma)

I desperately shake my head to the sides for the safety of the Librarian-san and…

“Do you even have any intention of listening seriously to what others say?” 

Seeing this, the Librarian-san’s expression got even stricter, which amplified the killing intent of Leila. 

The worst combination had been established. 

As a result…

“…And that’s how it is. Do you get it now?” 

“…Yes.” (Souma)

I had to listen to the scolding of the Librarian-san trembling in anger for 10 or so minutes, and I had turned into a mere doll that nodded. 

The Librarian-san nudged her glasses up in a bad mood, seeing me like that. 

“Your response alone seems to be fine, but I can’t believe you even if you say that with your mouth. 

Let’s have you write a few lines so that it takes form.” 

“Ugh. An apology letter?” (Souma)

To think I would be made to write something like that at my age. 

When I asked this with a bitter face, the Librarian shook her head to the sides unexpectedly. 

“No, I won’t ask for that much. It can be something simple just to keep it in physical form. I doubt you would forget like that.”

“I see…” (Souma)

Basically a written pledge. 

When I nodded, the Librarian-san brought out a slightly dense stack of papers to me from her bag. 

“…Right. Please write your name here.” 

“Just my name?” (Souma)

“I don’t mind as long as I can see your sincerity.” 

You are asking for something pretty difficult there. 

For now, I write Souma Sagara at the very top as carefully as possible.

“Not even worth a glance.” 

She threw it away in one go. 

“W-Why? I wrote it like norma—” (Souma)

I was glared at when I said that. 

“I told you to show your sincerity. And yet, you wrote it so small in a corner, moreover, in such letters that I can’t feel any emotion from. Is this what your sincerity amounts to?” 

Being told this, it is not like the desire to rebel didn’t well up in me, but after thinking about it for a bit, I once again wrote my name really big on the paper given to me. 

I glance at the face of the Librarian-san.

“…Well, fine. Next would be your apology. One sentence is fine, so please write that you won’t ever break and enter again.” 

“Okay.” (Souma)

Well, this can’t be helped. 

I moved my pen to finish this at once and…

“…No, wait.” 

The Librarian-san grabbed my hand. 

“You must have your own reputation to keep as well. I want you to reflect, but not to the point where I would wish to drop your reputation. Let’s write it in a more roundabout manner.” 

“Roundabout?” (Souma)

Is it possible to express breaking and entering in a roundabout manner?

I direct a gaze of expectation and…

“Basically, just write that you caused trouble for the library and that you will not be doing it again. The ideal writing to represent all this is…” 

The Librarian-san nudged her glasses with one finger, and made a thinking pose. 

And then, her eyes opened wide and said this all confidently while pointing straight at me. 

“‘You must be having it rough, but please do your best! I am rooting for you!’” 

“……I see.” (Souma)

I don’t understand the logic, but that’s apparently what it is. 

Well, if the person herself says that’s fine, then it should be.

I wrote it exactly as she asked. 

“Now that I think about it, people might not be able to tell who wrote it with just the name. Can you please add ‘Sinking Prince’ before your name?” 

Hm? I tilted my head, wondering if I called myself ‘Sinking Prince’, but I write it as told. 

She narrowed her eyes after seeing this, and her demands didn’t stop.

“Having written that much, it would be better to write who you are addressing it to. Write at the top of your name: to the Royal Library. Ah, no, it would be weird to write it for the library, so write there: To Seirie.” 

“Seirie?” (Souma)

“It is my name. It would be easier to understand if it is directed at an individual, so I will let you borrow my name here even if I find it undesirable. But no honorifics will make it sound like you are lacking in sincerity here, so please write ‘To Seirie-chan’.” (Seirie)

“Eh, Seirie…-chan?” (Souma)

“Problem?” (Seirie)

I lost to her gaze that was practically saying ‘You got a damn problem?’ and I silently write it down. 

However, the eyes deep down the glasses were not satisfied. 

“It has gotten a lot better, but I still can’t feel the sincerity here. Let’s add ‘with love’ here. Ah, adding a heart mark might be good too.” (Seirie)

“I see… That’s fine, I guess.” (Souma)

Having already accepted Seirie-chan, there’s already nothing for me to throw away now. 

When I wrote it all down, the Librarian-san…no, Seirie-san…I mean, Seirie-chan nodded as if satisfied. 

By the way, the completed product goes like this:

{To Seirie-chan: 

It must be rough, but please do your best! 

I am rooting for you! 

From the Sinking Prince, Sagara Souma.

With love (heart)}

It looks somewhat different from a written pledge. 

Or more like, now that I take a closer look, this is…

The size and thickness, I feel like this looks exactly like a sign paper from the modern world. Is it just a coincidence? 

While I was tilting my head here…

“Now then, I will be storing this paper.” (Seirie)

She takes the paper away from me as if snatching it off my hands. 

Seirie-san quickly wraps it up with something that looks like vinyl, finishing it up nicely, and then hugs it tightly and goes ‘fuhe’ with a smile that’s not really apt for the public. 

“E-Excuse me…” (Souma)

When I spoke to Seirie-san, she moved the sign paper away from her body as if she snapped back, and stowed it away in her bag with quick movements. 

“Now then, I have certainly received it.” (Seirie)

It seems like she is going to act as if that didn’t happen just now. She answered in a business-like manner. 

You would normally be baffled after seeing that, but…

(That’s a relief. She is also a proper resident of Nekomimi Neko.) (Souma)

The fact that I am feeling relieved in such a weird manner probably means that I have been poisoned by Nekomimi Neko a bit too. 

My comrades at the back seem to be relieved about our exchange too. They were showing something close to wry smiles. 

Even Leila was showing a faint smile while holding the Death Bringer, and then moved her mouth amused in a way that I can see it.

{I-really-should-kill-her!} (Leila)

Wait, you shouldn’t! 

I hurriedly looked at Mitsuki and she grabbed Leila away. 

{L-Let go! I can’t kill that woman like this!} (Leila)

{I am doing this to stop you exactly from that. Cool down your head a bit.} (Mitsuki)

{I-I have to s-stop women like that before Souma is deceived! A-After I kill her, I will lead a life with no money but a whole lot of love together with Souma in a one story house with a garden, and die on the same day as Souma while being watched by our grandchildren!} (Leila)

{You are totally planning on living for a long time! Also, considering the fact that we have money and a mansion at present, the setting is pushing it a bit too much. Calm down!} (Mitsuki)

Totally clueless that such madness was taking place behind her, Seirie asked with her usual serious tone. 

“I have been bothered by this for a while now, but…” (Seirie)

Saying this, Seirie passed by my side, and stood in front of the Beckoning Sphinx which I was praying she wouldn’t find while I was being scolded, and then tapped that statue. 

Looks like she noticed it a long time ago. 

“What in the world is this? I don’t think it was there when I came here before…” (Seirie)

“That’s…” (Souma)

I was troubled about what to say. 

It would be pretty difficult to wriggle out of this one after coming this far, but telling her honestly would be…

Maki came to me while I was troubled by this. 

“It is not like you are doing anything bad here, so isn’t it fine? Cause you know, even if we hide it, it would be the same if she were to follow us.” (Maki)

“…Well, that’s true.” (Souma)

Now that I think about it, we are only going to be opening the door to the basement, so there should be no problem with telling her. 

Seeing that state of hers before, it is not like she is a completely hardheaded person. 

She might even let us go here if we properly tell her the situation. 

She must find it a curious sight. She is going around the Beckoning Sphinx, observing every inch of it, and would at times touch it.

Seeing this, I resolved myself. 

I sighed and spoke to Seirie-san.

“Understood. I will tell you the situation… However, I want you to promise me something beforehand.” (Souma)

“What is it?” (Seirie)

I was on the verge of faltering at the cold gaze of Seirie as she turned only her head here, but I encouraged myself saying that this is important, and told her. 

“That sphinx will activate when you take the koban** it is holding. It would be troubling if it was moved without any preparations, so please don’t touch that place… Uhm, Seirie-san?” (Souma)

For some reason, Seirie-san stopped moving when I said that.

And then…

“Uhm, there’s something I would like you to see…” (Seirie)

“Huh?” (Souma)

After that, she slowly turned around with awkward movements like that of a robot that had not been oiled for a long time. 

I thought it weird at first, but when I saw her appearance…no, to be more precise, what she was holding -the flat golden something- I also frowned in the same way. 

“Seirie-san, could it be that that’s…” (Souma)

When I said this, everyone’s gazes gathered at Seirie-san and what Seirie-san is holding which you would only think of as a koban. 

Even when bathed by those gazes, Seirie-san didn’t falter at all but instead showed a bold smile.

“Hih!” (Seirie)

“Hah?” (Souma)

She suddenly let out a scream like that of a small cornered animal, and collapsed flat on the floor with that smile on her face. 

A splendid fall like that of a doll with its strings cut or a robot with a blown fuse. 

“Eh, wa, Seirie-san?!” (Souma)

I hurried to her and helped her up.

“She…fainted?” (Souma)

Seirie-san is completely unconscious. 

…Yeah.

Looks like she only looked fine, but actually couldn’t take the pressure around her and fainted.

I do want to say it is great that she is not in any dangerous state here, but the issue here is what’s behind her. 

“What do we do here…?” (Souma)

At the side of Seirie-san, at the wide stomach of the Beckoning Sphinx, there’s a question I have not seen before, and an answer input form floating there.

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