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We were thus allowed to officially investigate, but first, we had to check the facts.
“Nine has already told me the details, but I just wanted to make sure.”
So I ask Octavia the librarian.
“I’m sure you’ll agree that this whole mess started with the burning of a grimoire?”
“Yes, that’s right.” (Octavia)
Octavia affirmed and gave more details.
“Early last month, someone burned the original manuscript of the famous grimoire that is kept in this room.” (Octavia)
“By ‘someone’, do you mean it was determined to be man-made? Grimoires can burn on their own, you know.”
“Oh, the grimoire of fire is remarkable. The fire grimoire itself is so hot that it often ignites without any intervention.”
“Well, that’s scary.” (Sicily)
“If a wood or wind magic book is placed next to it, it can ignite and cause a huge fire.”
“As expected, Leon-sama is very knowledgeable.” (Sicily)
“It’s common sense for librarians.”
Looking at Octavia, she nods.
“I’ve always kept the fire and wind spell books separate in this library. I’ve always kept fire and water grimoires next to each other, and I’ve always taken care of the air condition, and the fundamental steps are kept.” (Octavia)
“And yet, it ignited?.”
Sicily peeked at the showcase humming. How cute.
“As far as I’ve examined it, it’s a fact that it’s not a spontaneous combustion.” (Octavia)
“It’s still artificial. In other words, is it arson?”
“Our mission is to find the criminal-san, isn’t it?” (Sicily)
“It’s typical of the princess to address the culprit as “san,” but that’s how it is.”
As we were having this exchange, Nine said,
“There is no doubt that it is artificial. The alchemists have examined the book and found that it has been sprayed with some kind of oil.” (Octavia)
“I don’t know the exact kind.” (Octavia)
“And there are traces of fire magic igniting it.” (Nine)
“And you’re the Flame Magician, right?”
“I’m suspected because of that nickname.” (Nine)
“Ironic, isn’t it? Don’t worry about it. I know who did it.”
“What? Really?” (Nine)
“Oh, I just don’t know their motive.”
“We’ll figure out the motive later. We’ll just tie him up and torture him.” (Nine)
It was a crude idea, but it was an efficient one. However, it was an idea that did not suit a military strategist who called himself an intellectual.
“That’s why I’m going to have the criminal reveal themselves.”
“Easy, carry the last remaining fire grimoire.”
“Carry it?” (Sicily)
Sicily is puzzled.
“What’s the point in doing that?” (Sicily)
“Yes, there is. It’s a simple argument. The culprit is obviously obsessed with fire grimoires, yes?”
“Yes. Everything that’s being burned is a grimoire of fire.” (Sicily)
“And it’s not the knowledge of the book that’s being burned, it’s the book itself.”
“That’s true. If knowledge is the goal, then burning them is irrational.” (Sicily)
“Yes, and from what I’ve read, the ashes of the book have been unnaturally taken away.”
“Well, then that ash is the purpose.” (Sicily)
“That’s right. Probably to make a potion or elixir out of it.”
“It’s a valuable grimoire. It might be the perfect material.” (Nine)
“Turning knowledge into ashes is an insult to humanity, but the criminal must have a reason.”
“–If the last book of magic is being carried, the culprit will make a move because they have a reason to do so.”
When I say that, I look at everyone’s faces, but there is one person who opposes it.
The librarian, Octavia.
“—The theory is sound, I admit that, but there’s no way you could carry a valuable grimoire.” (Octavia)
“If we continue like this, the last grimoire will be burned.”
“That’s not going to happen.” (Octavia)
“Because we have taken every precaution to ensure that nothing like that will ever happen again.” (Octavia)
“We’re not supposed to be here, right?”
“That’s why. And, you can’t refute that.”
Then I say this, “I am telling you that I will move the grimoire to the Royal Library.”
“I’m going to go talk to the head librarian here now, but I’m sure he’ll listen to our side of the argument.” (Nine)
Nine was convinced and was about to go to the head of the library, but someone stopped him.
It’s Octavia. It’s not exactly a stop, but a suggestion to head there instead.
“…I understand. I will tell the chief librarian.” (Octavia)
She then turns her back on us.
I said to her back and waited for her to come back.
–But she didn’t come back.
“…What could’ve happened?” (Sicily)
Sicily looked worried.
“… I wonder if something happened.” (Nine)
“No way, did the culprit attack her?” (Sicily)
“Maybe it’s possible. It’s a criminal who burns precious grimoires.” (Nine)
Nine nodded his head.
“It’s also possible that he’ll see that we’re here and get upset that security has been tightened, or that he’ll try to take Octavia-sensei hostage.” (Nine)
“That’s what I meant. So we’re on our way to the chief librarian’s office, does anyone have any objections?”
I looked at everyone, but not one of them shook their head, so I headed for the chief librarian’s office.
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