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≪28≫ – Picture Book

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Author: Kisasaki Suzume Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Deximus-Maximus

Being in the bustling town of Kugutfulm, this building stood out for its noticeable silence. The gentle illumination of the magic lamps even gave it an atmosphere that made you sleepy.

“Library… I feel like I remember this place too…”

Lucella visited the library where bookshelves stood silently side by side. It was a small library managed by the town. The cheap-looking carpet spread below erased even the footsteps of the visitors and produced silence.

“I don’t expect much, but let’s search the town records to see if there are any records of them. Even if we can’t find the info about the person, if there are records of someone searching for a dragon language interpreter it could still serve as a lead.”
“Please do.”
“I mean, I’m not the one who’d be searching but the librarian.”

Viola lightly waved her hand and disappeared to the library archive room along with a familiar librarian. The rest remained behind with too much time and nothing to do.

In the silence that made you almost hear the book’s breathing, Kafal observed the surroundings with keen interest.

“Yeah, these are books.”
“Lucella. Humans… why… make… books?”

She suddenly threw that fundamental question at Lucella, making him pause to think.

“…Humans have short lives and die easily too, so they may want to pass on their thoughts even after they die. But as there are too many humans, it’s impossible to talk to everyone about it. So they needed a way to convey the words to many people without speaking by themselves.”

Lucella considered the differences between dragons and people (particularly humans) and gave an answer based on what Kafal must have been puzzled about.

This was a small library, but every book must have been filled with such hopes.

“Books… record… what?”
“Hmm… Well, a lot of things. These ones are books about monsters. Those over there are geology-related… This is a hot spring town so they must be substantial. And those are novels, in other words, story books.”
“Many… kinds.”
“Yeah, there are a lot. But this library is still on the smaller side. Libraries are generally created by kingdoms and lords. So the stronger, bigger, and more forward-looking a kingdom is, the bigger its library. The royal library of Maltgartz for example is tremendously big………”

Lucella was surprised by the words that slipped from his own mouth.

—Maltgartz… royal… library? I know about it…?

If you were to climb Mount Kuguse, you’d need to come from either Maltgartz (north) or Setulev (south).

Since Lucella remembered this town he felt like he climbed it from Setulev, but then why did he have memories about Maltgartz too?

Setulev and Maltgartz were geographically close, but as Mount Kuguse was impossible to cross they were in reality very separated. Not to mention, Maltgartz considered Setulev a collaborator of their enemy nation, so what circumstances would have made him drift from there all the way here…

“Lucella… what is… that?

Kafal looked at a parent and child sitting nearby and asked.

«Let’s go stargazing» said Mr. Mouse.
«Yes, yes. Let’s do that» answered Mr. Cat…”

A young mother had her small child sitting on her lap and was reading a picture book to her.

“That’s a picture book. They have many pictures, simple writing, and many tales intended for small children… Small children ask their parents to read for them, and once they grow a bit they read on their own, and in the process, they learn how to read.”

Feeling a sense of responsibility as a representative of humans, Lucella explained about picture books like an encyclopedia record, while Kafal’s eyes remained on the parent and child reading one such picture book.

The child was looking cheerfully at the picture book while the mother read it out for her quietly and with love.

“That… I want… to try.”
“…You mean, you want me to read it to you?”
“Will read.”

Kafal suggested something tremendous and headed towards a bookshelf on her own.

It was a short bookshelf so that even children could take out books on their own.

“Found. Same… book.”

Kafal took out the same book that the mother and child were reading and sat on the chair.

“…You want me to sit?”

She was tapping on her lap repeatedly so Lucella was overpowered by the pressure. Once he timidly sat on her thighs, Kafal opened the picture book.

There was a light watercolor drawing in it, hard to tell whether it was a cat or a girl.

«Let’s go stargazing» said Mr. Mouse.
«Yes, yes. Let’s do that» answered Mr. Cat…”

Kafal started reading the picture book with a sentimental voice like that of a lullaby.

—She’s rote learning it?! I’m not sure if she understands the meaning, but holy crap the dragon memory is something else!

Kafal had probably never read the human language before.

The reason why she chose the same book as the earlier family was that she could just read it aloud as she remembered hearing it even if she couldn’t read it.

“Mommy, that girl is bigger than me but she’s having the book read to her.”
“You shouldn’t say something like that. Everyone starts out learning like that.”

The family finished their book and went to return it. The child pointed at Lucella dubiously but her mother remonstrated her for it.

—T- The one learning here is Kafal, okay?!

Lucella felt like he’d turn into a human torch from the extreme embarrassment.

“Oh dear, oh my!”

Viola who had returned at one point was looking at him with a blissful smile.

“Wh-, Ms. Viola… help me…”
“Help you? How exactly?”
“Under the beautiful starry sky, Mr. Cat gave a kiss to Ms. Mouse…”

Lucella felt like she was being tickled all over.


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