Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
PART 4 – Langue de Chat of Truth
Chapter 12 – Discovery
With snack time over, Sui went back to work.
Since Kasa had said that it was ok to read any book he liked if he had more or less finished tidying up, Sui decided to devote himself to some reading until the next customer arrived.
Amongst the many dictionaries and history books for magicians were also a collection of picture books. He had said it was in case kids came to the library but in the end, it seemed like Kasa was just collecting picture books because he liked them.
Among the collection were several books that his grandmother had read to him, including Hansel and Gretel. As Sui flipped through it, something fell from between the pages.
Flustered, thinking that a page had fallen out, Sui quickly picked it up. It was a photograph. In it were two girls holding books to their chests and making peace signs.
“Huh, is this…?”
There was a pendant hanging around each girl’s neck.
Sui took out his grandmother’s pendant from his backpack.
“They’re the same.”
Since the photo was in black and white, he couldn’t make out the color of the pendants but their shape looked exactly the same as his grandmother’s.
Could it be Sui’s grandmother and her friend?
Sui had found something that seemed to be a clue in an unexpected place. As he was about to put the photo aside to ask Kasa if he could take it later, the doorbell jingled.
A large man clad in a black fur coat entered the building.
Since the usual greeting at the library was to bow once instead of yelling out “Welcome,” Sui quickly lowered his head.
For some reason, the man had been staring at him ever since he had first entered.
An intense pressure came from the man who narrowed his eyes in a glare.
Sui unconsciously stepped back.
“Where’s the owner?”
“He’s currently in the back.”
Sui left the library as he was told, going to where Kasa was. He knocked on the door to the workroom on the west and Kasa appeared, holding a chisel in one hand and wiping his sweat with the other.
“What is it? Trouble?”
“I wouldn’t say trouble… I was told to call you.”
“By whom?” Kasa narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
“Um, he’s big and very intense and he’s wearing a black fur coat.”
“This is bad…” Kasa muttered, his voice gloomy. “Wait a second. I’ll be right back.”
He quickly retreated back inside the room and changed out of his work clothes. His expression oozed with impatience.
“Sui-kun, no matter what that person says you can’t take it to heart, ok?” Kasa said as they made their way back to the library.
Sui couldn’t understand the meaning behind his words.
When they made it back to the library, the man who had been standing at the entrance glanced their way.
“Sorry for the wait. It’s been a long time since we last met.”
The man snorted at Kasa, who bowed deeply to him.
“I’ve always thought you were a stray, but your family really can’t come up with anything decent.”
“…Azul-san, it is you who normally doesn’t use this library, is that not so? What brings you here today?”
“Hmph, don’t call my name so familiarly.”
The man named Azul turned his eyes from Kasa to Sui.
Even though Sui felt paralyzed under the man’s cold gaze, he managed to look at him without averting his eyes.
“As you can see, I’ve come to take a look at some documents related to the current project. Did you bring that thing?”
Sui was about to speak up, but Kasa secretly pulled on his arm. It seemed he was trying to tell him to keep quiet.
“Hurry up and throw it away.”
“This child is my precious employee and I am afraid I cannot comply with your request.”
“Nothing good happens when a regular human comes to Akebi. You’re aware of that too, aren’t you?”
“What am I aware of?”
“How shameless. Knowledge magic users like you are of a low class anyway. You just want to make yourselves feel good by looking down on regular humans, who are of an even lower class than you. Don’t you think it’s pathetic?”
Suddenly, Kasa let out a small breath. He seemed to be laughing.
“What’s so funny?”
“No, it’s just, we’re never on the same page, are we? This person said it, you know, that in the end magicians are just humans with slightly special powers.”
Sui looked at Kasa; that was something he had previously said.
“That’s just the yapping of a failure.”
“On the contrary, I thought it was a very good opinion. But old people like you, who are full of themselves just because of their slightly special ability and who built a separate society just for wizards, might not be able to understand such things.”
“You’ve got quite the mouth there, don’t you? Aren’t you also one of the people who have been allowed to live in that society?”
“I think this kind of mouth is suitable for someone who is your son’s friend.”
“I’ve told him again and again to choose his friends wisely, but that boy just doesn’t listen. If it wasn’t vulgar enough that he chose to associate with a knowledge magic user, it had to be a half-human as well.”
“Isn’t that small-minded personality of yours the reason why your sweet, sweet son hates you?”
“Hates me, huh?” The man turned his back to them, his coat spinning. “That boy will come back to me. In the end, such power is only needed and accepted in Ulshia.”
“That’s not your decision to make.”
“That boy will make that decision. He may currently be running some useless business like a general store, but there’s no way he can keep on living in this tiny town.”
The man just barely turned his face their way. “Knowledge magic user, know your place. It would be easy for me to destroy your library. Don’t ever forget that.”
“It doesn’t matter if you destroy it – everything is inside my head. After all, I am a knowledge magic user. Aah, but I will hold a grudge for my precious books.”
With a click of his heel, the man left the library.
Kasa took a deep breath and scowled at the door.
“I really hate that man!” He stuck out his tongue and stamped his feet in frustration.1
Sui, who had been in a daze and could only watch their exchange till now, finally opened his mouth as well.
“Um, that person just now?”
“An influential person from Ulshia! They’re all like that. That’s what makes our society so shitty!”
Kasa kept piling on his complaints.
What did he mean when he said nothing good happens when a regular human comes to Akebi?
Did one of the people who visited in the past…? Or maybe Red, who’s the only regular human to visit during the last decade…? Did they do something?
“Uh… Do magicians not like regular humans?”
“Hah!?” Startled, Kasa turned Sui’s way, his eyes open wide.
“Of course not! I mean, you’re the one who said it – that there’s no difference between magicians and regular humans.”
“Y-yeah but –”
Sui shrunk back from Kasa’s extremely threatening attitude.
“There may be a lot of people who think that way in Ulshia, but Akebi’s nothing like that! And who can tell who’s a magician in the first place? It’s not like you can know if they’re a magician or not just by looking at them! Even though they can’t tell them apart, they call me a half-human – you’re the ones looking down on people just to make yourselves feel better! Aaah, I’m so pissed off right now!”
Kasa looked angry enough to throw something but there were only books around. Of course, there was no way he’d do something like that to a book, so he just kept complaining and stomping his feet.
The man had left a certain impression on Sui, but that was definitely just his imagination.
I mean, there’s no way. Something like that isn’t possible.
“Hya, yessir!” Kasa’s call startled Sui out of his deep contemplation.
“Everything is closed for today! And we’re going to fry up and eat one of my most cherished snacks! Yes!”
“Eh, um, but I can’t eat that much…”
“No complaints! It’s an order!”
“I’m going to go upstairs first, so you flip the sign!” Kasa ordered with an extremely angry expression, and Sui could only watch as he stomped his way further inside.