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Chapter 202 – Record of her memories
Fourteenth Arc – Seventh chapter
Olivia slowly woke up, light entered her view, and her consciousness started clearing out.
She was lying down, and looking up at the ceiling.
“This is… A ceiling I don’t know of!” She instantly opened her eyes wide, now being fully awake.
To think there was a ceiling she didn’t know about in this world, this alone was enough to fully wake Olivia up.
“Wait, no, calm down…” Olivia took a deep breath and looked at her surroundings.
It was a dark and dim place, with walls made out of tree trunks. The only light there was provided by flowers that shone faintly.
“I… I was eaten by the finished book, right?” Olivia muttered, as she realized she was inside the world of the book, “Oh, wow…! I never thought I’d end up inside a book! Amazing!”
She wanted to convey this excitement to someone, but unfortunately, Olivia was the only one here, ‘Such a shame’, she thought.
So, Olivia then started wondering what to do. There must be a reason to why the book swallowed her.
“Maybe there is something about needing to do some special action to save the world?” Olivia muttered. She’d gladly become a hero and even offer her life to defeat a demon lord if need be, “Wait, hold on, Levy will scold me if I offer my life, so that would be no good.” Olivia shook her head.
Then, she started hearing some voices, ‘Coming to think of it, the book said I was a “Treasure Trove of Knowledge” before eating me, so the reason must be that.
Then, with this in mind, Olivia started walking towards the voice.
As for what was happening on the forest archives, everyone went pale when seeing Olivia be eaten by the book.
The only person doing anything right now, was Levy, who was shaking the book and screaming, “Bring Olivia back!”
Nobody else was saying anything though. Everyone was desperately trying to figure out what to do.
Aquasteed was the first to speak, “Keith, librarian, is there a precedent for this…?”
“There is none.” Keith replied.
“There is also no record of any book ever having a will of its own.” The librarian added.
So there were no clues for them to go by.
The book that Levy was holding didn’t seem to have any malice, but this was still quite troublesome… At this moment though, Aquasteed remembered that the book said it wanted knowledge, “Miss Olivia is probably the one who knows the most about Marineforest.” he commented.
She probably knows plenty of things that not even scholars and historians know about, after all, “Yes, no historian is better than Olivia.” Levy nodded his head as he said that.
“Levy…” Aquasteed muttered.
“This book was talking when it swallowed lady Olivia, so maybe we can communicate with it?” Tiararose slowly approached the book and tried talking, “Hey, can you speak? Please tell us what’s lady Olivia’s current state.”
<I am a book that records history, and I wanted her detailed knowledge, so I swallowed her and all her knowledge.> The book replied.
Everyone gasped as they suddenly heard this voice reverberate in their minds.
Just like Tiararose thought, the book had a consciousness of its own and was greedily seeking knowledge.
<I want to receive the knowledge that will let me become the perfect history book.> The book said.
“Receive…? What is happening to Olivia right now!?” Levy impatiently asked.
<Once I receive all the knowledge, she’ll be returned. It may take days, months or even years though.> The book flatly replied.
“Years…!?” Levy exclaimed.
“That’s no good! We have to rescue lady Olivia somehow…” Tiararose muttered.
They had no problems in helping the history book complete its records, but locking someone inside it for years would be no good.
Tiararose bit her lip and stared at the book. Making the history book was certainly important, but not at the expense of someone else.
Levy then put his hand on the book, “Should I tear it apart…?”
“Why don’t we try entering the book instead? We should be able to rescue lady Olivia from inside.” Tiararose suggested while thinking that rescuing someone from inside a book was actually a fairly common fairy-tale like situation.
“Tiara, that’s too dangerous. What if we can’t come back?” Aquasteed replied.
However, Tiararose couldn’t back down here, even with Aquasteed asking her… After all, Olivia was her dear friend, and this only happened because of the Sweets Ring in the first place, “Aqua. I want to help lady Olivia. Will you please land me your strength?”
“… You’re making a face that says you won’t give up no matter what I say.” Aquasteed sighed, “It can’t be helped. I’ll cooperate.”
“Both of you…! Thank you very much. We must rescue Olivia.” Levy thanked them, then turned towards the book, “I also have the same knowledge that Olivia has. Lady Tiararose, the Fairy Queen; and his majesty Aquasteed, the King of the Starry Sky, should also have valuable knowledge.”
<I don’t mind it as long as my knowledge increases.>
And so, the book opened its pages wide and swallowed Tiararose, Aquasteed and Levy.
“… Lord Aquasteed! Lady Tiararose!” Elliot, who was left behind, could only scream at the book, but he got no reply.
“Wake up, lady Tiararose.” Levy said.
“Mmm…?” Tiararose muttered as Levy shook her shoulders.
Slowly, she recovered her consciousness and started remembering what had just happened. She apparently fell unconscious after being eaten by the book.
She looked to the side, and saw that Aquasteed seemed to be about as dazed as she was, “Is this… Inside the book?” Tiararose muttered.
“Indeed. Though Olivia doesn’t seem to be near…” Levy looked left and right, then dropped his shoulders. He was hoping to immediately meet Olivia once inside.
“It might be dangerous, so stay close to me, Tiara.” Aquasteed told her.
“Okay.” Tiararose nodded.
For now, they had to grasp what kind of place this forest-like world was, but… Before they had time to explore it, the surrounding scenery suddenly changed.
“Eh…!?” Tiararose exclaimed.
“What’s happening?” Aquasteed said.
“Is this near the border of Lapis Lazuli and Marineforest?” Levy commented.
After the scenery finished changing, just like Levy said, they were now on the border between both kingdoms, and they could see the beach and smell the sea breeze from where they were.
While the three of them vigilantly observed their surroundings, they saw a carriage that came from Lapis Lazuli start moving towards the beach.
It was a luxurious carriage, so it probably had nobles inside it.
‘Perhaps we can try talking to them and ask a ride to the nearby town’ Tiararose thought.
However, she gasped when she saw the carriage getting closer, as it was awfully familiar to her.
She instinctively covered her mouth and took a step back. At that moment, she bumped onto Aquasteed, who was right behind her.
“Aqua, that carriage…” Tiararose muttered.
“Yeah…” Aquasteed was thinking the same as Tiararose.
Levy couldn’t understand what was going on though, so he just stared at the carriage, “Isn’t that just an ordinary carriage used by nobility? It’s surely luxurious, but-” Levy stopped speaking and repeatedly blinked his eyes at this point.
Because he saw someone stuck out her face out of the window of the carriage… “Lady Tiararose and his majesty Aquasteed are on this carriage.” Levy commented.
“… This is the carriage that me and Tiara rode when we were returning from Lapis Lazuli to Marineforest.” Aquasteed explained.
Escorts and servants were on the carriages behind them, so Philiane and Elliot were probably there too.
“This is… A history book.” Tiararose muttered as she realized they were seeing recollections of the past.
When they went to the beach, they met Aishira, then saw Tiararose being left alone and meeting up with the fairies of the forest.
Tiararose felt nostalgic about it, but was also embarrassed about her younger self’s actions.
She wanted to turn her head away from that, but before she could do so, the voice of the book reached her head, <Since the three of you are now here, the definitive history of Marineforest will definitely be completed. Thank you.>
The book seemed to be looking at their memories to find knowledge.
<I definitely want to record the moments where both the Fairy Queen and the King of the Starry Sky both stepped inside Marineforest for the first time.> As the book said that, the scenery changed again.
This time, they were in the royal castle. Inside a room lit by a glittering coral chandelier.
In this room, a baby with dark blue hair peacefully slept.
There were plenty of people nearby, but none of them could notice Tiararose, Levy and Aquasteed.
So, the three of them approached the baby, “This child is…?” Tiararose muttered.
She then turned her gaze towards Aquasteed, but he remained silent as he stared at the baby.
‘They look like each other…’ Tiararose thought, ‘Maybe this baby is Aquasteed!?’
As this world had no cameras, she could only look at paintings of younger Aquasteed, so… Now that Tiararose could see the actual baby Aquasteed, she became extremely excited.
“Aqua, this child… That’s you, isn’t it, Aqua!?” Tiararose asked.
Aquasteed nodded shyly at that question.
‘Oh dear!’ Tiararose thought.
She was not Olivia, but her excitement rose so high that she was about to have a nosebleed anyways. Tiararose had to cover her mouth to calm down as she fell in love with the cute baby Aquasteed, “Baby Aqua is so cute…” she muttered.
She had an urge to try squeezing his little hand, and she had to take many deep breaths to try calming down.
Though then, she wondered if it would be fine to at least touching him a bit, so Tiararose carefully stretched out her hand to touch the baby Aquasteed’s hand… Except, her hand passed through it. She could not touch him.
“No way…! I can’t touch you.” Tiararose dejectedly muttered.
It was like a hologram, so the best that Tiararose could do was stare at the baby’s closed eyelids.
‘Aqua’s eyelashes have been long since this time, hasn’t they?’ Tiararose thought.
Because he was asleep, she couldn’t see his golden eyes, but she could still feel some elegance coming out of this baby. She was sure he was raised with lots of love.
‘I wish I could have met Aqua when we were little.’ Tiararose thought next.
Eating sweets together, reading books, talking… If they could play like that, Tiararose thought that each day would have been filled with loads of fun.
‘At that time, I was always troubled by lord Hartnight instead…’ Tiararose thought as she remembered her past.
They weren’t all bad memories, but she went through quite a few hardships.
As she watched the baby Aquasteed though, Tiararose thought that all her hard work had been worth it, so she relaxed a bit and started thinking about how soft the cheeks of baby Aquasteed must be.
‘I really wish I could touch you…!’ Tiararose thought.
“Tiara, it’s a bit embarrassing to see you stare this much.” Aquasteed commented.
“Ah, but it’s Aqua, you know!? If I miss this opportunity, I might never see the baby you again!” Tiararose replied. She knew that she would forever regret it if she didn’t make full use of this opportunity.
“It’s not fair if I can’t see baby Tiara too…” Aquasteed muttered.
“My childhood was in Lapis Lazuli, so…” Tiararose replied.
The rest was left unsaid. It would be impossible for him to see it, as this was a book about the history of Marineforest.
But then, as they talked about that, the scenery changed again.
“Aah, no way…!” Tiararose was disappointed, as she wanted to enjoy the baby Aquasteed more.
The place they were at now was a rocky mountain with few trees. There were plenty of ores around, so it didn’t look like a place that people visited often.
“Where is this…?” Aquasteed looked around as he said that.
“This is a place that you don’t recognize?” Tiararose asked, as she too didn’t know where this was.
So, they looked at Levy.
“That’s where I used to train.” Levy pointed at a large rock that was filled with cut marks.
It wasn’t hard to understand that those were dagger marks, as those were the weapons Levy used.
As Tiararose muttered, “Amazing…” while looking at the rock, a knife passed through her body and stuck the rock, “Hii!!!” She exclaimed.
“Tiara!” Aquasteed worriedly called her.
“A-ah… It’s alright. I regretted it before, but I’m glad that I can’t touch things in this world now…” Tiararose muttered as she tried calming her pounding heart.
“Oh, that’s me.” Levy commented.
“Eh?” Tiararose and Aquasteed looked towards Levy.
There, they saw a young Levy with a dagger in his hand. His hair wasn’t slicked back yet at this time, and it was a bit fresh to see him at his youth.
“I asked Olivia to spare me some time to train. Though of course, I never neglected taking care of Olivia even then.” Levy told them.
“I see…” Tiararose muttered.
She had only seen Levy take care of Olivia, so it was a bit strange to imagine him going somewhat far from her just to train.
Young Levy did muscle training, practiced how to use a dagger, read books on martial arts… Levy may look a bit nonchalant, but he was clearly a hard worker.
And after that, the scenery changed several times, going through things like Aquasteed’s childhood and so on.
Eventually, they arrived at the basement of the royal castle.
The place was dimly illuminated by candles, but it was still a bit dark, so it was hard to see there.
“This place is… When?” Tiararose muttered.
Depending on the era, Pheles and Liliarge might be there.
As Tiararose strained her eyes there, she saw a figure.
“Olivia!” Levy exclaimed.
“Levy! Lady Tiararose! Your majesty Aquasteed!” Olivia exclaimed.
Levy was visibly relieved from seeing Olivia, but everyone also worried about her, because tears were coming out of her eyes.
“Did something happen, lady Olivia?” Tiararose rushed towards her. Aquasteed followed right behind.
Olivia shook her head though. She then only moved her gaze to the side… She was looking at Pheles.
“It’s okay, Liliarge. I’ll be here forever.” Pheles muttered softly with tears in his eyes.
It seemed like this place was from a time long before Tiararose came here. The atmosphere was heavy, and Pheles seemed to be hopeless.
“Miss Olivia, I’m glad you’re alright… How long have you been here?” Aquasteed asked her.
“… My role was to provide an objective view when there was a big historical moment. I told the book about the secret passages of the royal castle, and about his highness Pheles, so I ended up coming here.” Olivia explained.
She then also told them that this scene was recorded in the original history book of Marineforest, so it was fine for this to be here too.
“Though I guess this is not something that other people should be allowed to see…” Olivia muttered.
“… You’re right.” Tiararose nodded.
Olivia then wiped her eyes with a handkerchief and suggested, “Shall we go home?” until now she had been kept here by the power of the book, but after Aquasteed, Tiararose and Levy came, the necessary knowledge that the book wished to obtain had been supplemented.
“But the book said it might possibly need years, lady Olivia… How were you able to provide all the necessary knowledge to it already…?” Tiararose asked.
“It really seemed to want a lot of knowledge…” Aquasteed added.
“Oh, I just gave it my strategy guide.” Olivia replied.
“You mean, the one in your villa?” Tiararose asked.
“Indeed.” Olivia nodded with a triumphant smile.
The strategy guide that contained every single information of Ring of Lapis Lazuli that Olivia could remember from her previous life. The supreme book that contained all sorts of information, including even secret passages that should only be known by the royal family.
It would be no exaggeration to say that all of Olivia’s knowledge was packed inside that book.
‘I see, so that’s how she saved time.’ Tiararose thought.
Perhaps without it, it could have indeed taken years to finish gathering all the knowledge.
“Thank you for making that strategy guide and giving its knowledge away, lady Olivia.” Tiararose told her.
“There’s no need to thank me for that. To me, there is no greater honor than having my knowledge be useful to the history book of the forest archives.
“Even if it took days, months or years! I’d be glad to help!” Olivia exclaimed.
Tiararose could only wryly smile at that, wishing Olivia would restrain herself a bit.