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Home > God Rising: Battle of Atela

55 Part IV

 A unique voice filled the air without effort, venturing far into the castle, loud enough for everyone to hear. Some reacted to the sweet vibration, others continued to chatter, but the sound communicated with them in some manner.

Once in a while, they hear the sound, and assume it's from a magical windpipe. Inquiries were posed, yet nobody had answers. Also, they feared to follow the direction of the song because it led to the Demigod's bedchamber.

Marcellus gazed through the glass with his hands behind his back. The voice faded, but he listened closely to get the message. He headed out of the basement after he'd silenced the 'windpipe' and his father followed him.

The senior plunked down on his child's bed, and Marcellus gave him his preferred tea, yet he declined. He didn't come to be served tea; he came to discuss Darren's mission for the book he'd been looking for.

"It is ideal that you permitted the kid to go, it makes the work easier for us. All we have to do is wait for him to come back."

"Indeed, Father. Soon, our plans will be complete, and with him on our side, the equipments we'll complete with the gems he'll assemble, our household will be an unstoppable force. The three worlds will succumb."

"Then we can finally give him what he seeks so desperately, but now is not the right time. The chances of him not remembering are high. After years of striving, victory is close." The old Foxman tapped the base of his staff on the floor before he got up.

"When my grandson is back, tell me."

"Yes father." Marcellus bowed.

***

"There's something behind me, isn't there?"

She turned around to see the sole red sphere connected to the skull at the peak of the enormous body behind her.

They didn't know if they should think of it as a threat but it's terrifying and unusual body made of torn papers, old book covers, cobwebs, and debris kept them alert.

Artemis made a major step back, and Darren hid behind her.

"Who are you?" He asked as he walked forward with its mass of paper limbs.

The thunder of its voice made Darren shriek. He crouched and put his hand over his head, "I knew coming here was a bad idea. I can't die here, I don't want to die." He moved closed to Artemis and used her cape to clean his snot "This is all your fault!"

"Let go of my cape, you coward!"

His heart was racing, and all he wanted to do was curl up into a ball and wait for a miracle to save them.

A choked cry for help forced itself out of his throat. It seemed like it was the end of the road for them.

The horror left Darren still and the more he thought about running away, or moving a bit, the more he felt discouraged and utterly terrified by what the library guardian would do.

"I said who are you?" The monster's loud voice made the ground shake. Darren sneezed as dust rained down and clouded the air.

"Sorry Monster sir, we won't come here again. Even if you want to kill, please kill him. I told him not to disturb your sleep, but he didn't listen to me. I swear I attempted to caution him!"!" Darren tried to come up with an excuse.

Artemis grimaced, but she had to deal with the more important matter, and disregard the nonsense Darren blurted out.

"I'm Armin Willis. I'm acquainted with the grandson of Christopher Remes, Orion Remes."

"Hmm-"

"I've come from earth to look for his book that would help me become stronger, but along the lines, I needed this moron's help."

"moron?" Darren moved a bit to show his face, and once the flame in the skull's orb brightened, he went back to his hiding place, shivering like he was naked in a snowstorm.

"My master's grandson?"

"Yes!" She thought she won its trust, however the beast thundered, and she nearly tumbled off her feet.

"What is the name of the dimwit sheltering under your cape?"

"D-darren Livingston, nice to meet you, Monster sir. I hope we become friends and you don't kill me."

Artemis pinched the bridge of her nose, "How stupid can this wolfman be."

"A Livingston relative!" The closeness of a foe incensed the guardian. "Jester Livingston is the cause of my Master's death! I shall spare none of them, whether good or bad!"

"It's been nice knowing you" Artemis pulled off her cape "You wanted it? Well, you can have it!" She stuck a tongue out as she left him in a state of dread.

"Arm..." He choked on his sobs as the monster pulled a hand back. His bottom lip quivered and his shoulder dropped in resignation, "If only I was stronger..."

Artemis watched the hot torrents of grief course down his face, and she yawned abruptly, waiting for him to die.

Soon, the guardian went still, and it disheveled back to the shelves, while some to the dirty piles.

"I hate to admit it, but I'm a pacifist"

"Dang! And I was looking forward to his death," Artemis puffed, crossing her arms.

"Screw you!" Darren was brimming with anger, relief and sadness. The slave wasn't making things better for him.

"Kids don't curse. That's bad!"

Darren was about to counter when the monster's vibrating voice forced them both to behave.

"Enough of the child's play!"

They exchanged mocking glances at each other before looking around for where the voice was coming from.

"You both wonder where I am, and I will tell you. I am the library. Everything you see here is me. The walls connect my roots to all the books. I can create, destroy, and if I am pushed, I am forced to kill. You both seek knowledge that might kill you. The path you walk is dangerous. This is just the beginning."

"I'm ready for it!" Artemis's dedication and seriousness persuaded the guardian. As for Darren, his words weren't paid attention to.

"Darren Livingston!"

"Yes Monster, sir" The Prince stood at attention and the guardian's laugh echoed.

"You're not supposed to be here. I wanted to kill you because you're related to my Master's murderer, but I've found another way to deal with this issue without getting blood smeared on my papers. I will curse you!"

"What?" His eyes widened. It had to be a joke.

"If you don't want the curse, leave here and forsake what you seek."

"Please, listen to me. I don't get along with my grandfather."

"It's not about your relationship with your grandfather, it's about hidden information getting into the wrong hands. He came here many times in search of the book, but I created a pile of counterfeits and placed them in hidden locations. The one you both found is not the real book, and I won't say where it is until I'm sure Darren will not betray my trust."

"I swear on my life. I won't."

"Swearing isn't sufficient to move me. My main goal is to protect and hand the book to a commendable wielder, but you are not the one."

His heart ached. "But I-" he didn't know what to say. "I'm not a normal beastman. I don't have powers, and I need them. My life is already hopeless, this curse might make me suicidal."

"The curse is to make sure the book doesn't get to Jester Livingston. If it does, Atela is doomed and You will join me to die."

"Very well then. Curse me! But I swear, I won't ever let this book get to my grandfather, neither my beloved father."

"Bold of you." The books around applauded his decision and closed once the guardian commanded them to.

"Unto this pair I pass, the book of truth to counter the lies and secrets the elders hide. I curse Jester's grandson today, if he can't stay aware of the guarantee he made, he'll die along with Armin Willis."

"What?!" Artemis was dumbstruck.

"I trust neither of you, but I'll advise you both, when you're done with the book, destroy it."

A big book formed from the litters around before it moved into Artemis's hands.

"I was a young scholar by the time I met Christopher Remes. He dedicated himself to his work and research. He hardly had time for his family and everyone thought he was crazy, but all he wanted was to discover the truth of Atela, which he failed to do. His adoration for revelation isolated him from his family, and his wife left him for another man, however his Oldest son kept the Remes name.

After I discovered his headless corpse in this very place, a funeral was held, but only his first son and myself attended. I went back to the library, and I found something important. He used his magic to make the books instruct me on what next to do. I sacrificed my body and became the Guardian of this library. All to protect the book he kept hidden from Jester Livingston. This was a small price to pay for the respect I had and still have for the last of the Alchemy legion."

"My grandfather and Remes, were they partners at first?"

"That is correct. But one sought the knowledge for good and the other for evil. I don't know what exactly this book contains, but I'm sure it holds a lot of power. Take the orb from my skull and place it on the cover to open the first chapter that was written many years ago."

Artemis moved to the skull and did as the guardian instructed. The book opened on its own and it stopped at a page. She watched the codes rearrange into letters she was familiar with. "There are five gems you need to find if you want to get to the end of Reme's book. But you might die while doing so. The locations are stated in the book, but you have to find a map yourselves. That's all I can help you with. The rest is for you to discover. I am going back to sleep."

The shelves moved, and it created a way for the pair to exit. "Thank you Monster sir" The both said before glaring at one another. Artemis held onto the book, unwilling to let Darren touch it.

Nighttime had fallen fast, and they lost track of time down at the library. They headed back to Lunar's home to eat and rest.

***

A few hours went by and Darren went straight to Lunar's room after he'd given Artemis some food.

This time, he was tired and drowsy for a reason hr didn't know. He glanced at the empty glass Lunar gave him before switching his gaze to the fox that was stripping.

She sat on his lap and hushed him before covering his face with kisses. He couldn't move a muscle, so she stripped him with ease then whispered "You're not leaving here until you get me pregnant."