Chapter 39 – Knowledge is Power Unless if it’s Fake
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"Kumo, why hadn't you helped me much during the meeting?" Itia asks the non-blonde but blonde man Kumo a question. 

"Well I am a mere servant Itia, but you are a sister of Morus-sama, so I cannot speak on your behalf." Kumo calmly answered her question. 

"Please don't change your positions Kumo, your supposed to be a distant relative of Mori-sama as well." Itia answered back. 

"But I am a mere branch house Itia, you are Morus-sama's little sister after all." And Kumo countered that attack as well. 

"Hmm... I guess so." She didn't retaliate this time since the thought of being my sister makes her blush. 

"Uhm... I thought I was the servant around here~" And Gabril joined in for the fun as well. 

Meanwhile, "Yes it's right this way ma'am." I have to talk to the staff here asking where the library is. 

"Thank you, and I apologize for my companions. They are very excited right now." I say to her in an embarrassing tone

[I wish I could be as carefree as these guys right now.] A bit too much I say but. [I'm really glad they are being people right now.] Probably due to the atmosphere earlier the three of them didn't manage to talk much, but it seems they are venting out all their tension right now to make up for that silence earlier. [Either way I feel great right now.]

Joining the Mages Guild was my original goal today, but right now the library is top priority. [And plus...] I look around and see the some sigils that are quite familiar to me hung on the wall, so I ask the staff. 

"Oh? You must definitely be a foreigner ma'am if you don't even know the sigils of our gods." She explained almost making me out like a fool for not knowing it. 

"Gods huh..." My friends. [Does that make me a god as well?] That thought makes me shudder for a sec as the thought of being worshiped by people as a deity makes my spine crawl in embarrassment. 

[But still, sigils huh?] No statues, so I asked. 

And to my surprise, I got a little revelation. "Well we wished that we could put statues of every god in this guild but unfortunately, our references comes from ancient statues and many of them we don't know the appearance of. So to make it fair for the gods, we just used their symbols and sigils to be their liking." She explained. 

[It makes sense.] After all if I'm guessing it right it's been thousands of years since the supposed End of the Endless World Online as I know it. So of course no one would know what their appearances are. And in extreme cases like Zank-und-Beharren, completely thought of as two different people. 

[But  only I and my family know what they look like.] It is a privilege not many can have.

And with that, an idea began forming in my head. But before it could fully materialize, "We're here." Said the staff, as she showed me a double door with moderate carvings within. 

"Thank you." I thank the employee and look behind me.

"We're here—what are you doing?" I turn around and saw the three of them bickering about something irrelevant.

"I'll be Mori-sama's sister."

"No, I'm her servant."

"No! I want to be family as well!"

It seems the trio are bickering about me. [Now I'm not irrelevant now.]

"""I'm sorry!""" After they noticed my gaze they immediately apologize.

[Seriously they can be both dependent and independent at the same time.] I noticed, but I just sigh and shrug it off. "Oh well, look at here you three." I told them. 

"Of course." Itia was the first to say with the two of them following suit. 

"Well 'tis the library." I told them. "We're gonna not only search on magic here but also find any information about my friends that became gods in this world." That was the goal I have in mind. 

[And then, hopefully, see them again.] It's a hope but I don't wanna give up.

"Now then." I turn around and grabbed the doorknob. "Let's go shall—" 

"Wait!" A high pitched male voice shouted across the hallway. 

[There's only a boy I know that from.] I turn around and see the simply dressed prince of Santhos, Gérmann del Arin von Xanthos.

Running and breathing heavily as the staff look at the supposed Prince of their nation acting like that. But seem to ignore it after a while. [They seem to be used to it.]

Now, not only me but in order Kumo, Itia, and Gabril were looking at the young Prince with wonder. 

"There's no air of royalty coming from him."

"Humph, what a child."

"He's cute~"

The three gave their thoughts of this lad.

"Are you alright Prince Gérmann?" I ask him while I reach out my hand. 

He holds it tight, slowly looking up with heavy breathing. "...I told that I'll join you Lady Morus." He said while holding his knees.

I wondered for a bit of if I should refuse his request to tease him but remembered that he's royalty, so naturally. "Of course Prince Gérmann." I approve.

And with that, we went to the library together. 

•••

"How nostalgic."

Somehow the smell of old books and paper made me remember my life back on Earth and especially [Books and me and bOb go hand and hand.] I thought remembering my time with her at the Library of Atlantis. 

Aside from my time playing Endless, reading books and novels has always been one of my favorite pastimes, as antiquated as it may seem. And also my main way of escaping reality during my low period of slaving away for my mother's treatment. 

[Though this isn't really a novel I'm reading right now like I used to back then.] Moreover it's a book about magic scrolls and such. 

"And... Done!" I flip through the last page and close the cover.

"What do you think?" Beside me is Prince Gérmann looking at me with great interest. "It's one of the more popular books about magic." He says as he also holds onto a seemingly more advance book about magic than I have on hand. 

"Well you've been reading the the equivalent of fake news for these pass few decades." I declare, looking at the book I evaluate further. "Why is there so many steps involved in casting these simple spells?" I pause. "Chanting and chanting, making speeches, poems, and sometimes even singing! I mean what the hell is this?" I hold the book up my hands. [What a waste of paper.] Books and paper are valuable, so wasting time and resources on garbage is something that couldn't be forgiven. 

"That's what I thought." The Prince's eyes widen for a second before looking at me with an 'I understand' kind if expression. "Unfortunately Morus that chants you've been complaining about is an institution within the schools of magic since time immemorial." He also closes the book. "The conventional wisdom is that you need to memorize these chants in order to cast powerful magics, and only when raising up the ranks you can cast shorter casts and be able to pull it off." Is what he explains. 

[In other words...] Long chants equals more powerful spells being casts by new magicians, so a culture of memorization and literature develops.

"How inefficient." I declared. 

And the Prince silently nods in agreement. "I used to fall into that same mindset as well, but when I started conducting my research outside the confines of my colleagues and doing independent research. I realized how much unnecessary weight there is to this kind of magic." 

He also added. "And when I saw your duel in the Adventurers' Guild, all my suspicions were all none but confirmed to be the case." It seems I helped him in his revelation. 

"Although it's hard to challenge common sense, but I am actually already writing a paper about this to showcase it to the guild." He says to me in an embarrassing tone. 

"Well I salute you Prince." I say to him in reassurance. "I'll support you all the way, you can even ask me stuff if you want me to help."

The Prince scratches his head. "Oh I'd love to but..." He scratches it faster. "Contrary to a wizard mad in his research, I actually want to solve this mystery I'm my own effort instead of being told about it Morus." He says to me in an apologetic tone.

I couldn't help but smile. "That's fine Prince." About the sincerity he has when he said those words. [I guess more does meets the eye.] It seems I was incorrect of my first assessment of him being a brat that's pulling more than he could. 

"Oh!" It seems he thought that I was insulted by his answer. "I wouldn't mind you helping me out you know, I know that you kinda know how to solve the problem already but that's why I said to not tell me you know!" He elaborated upon it further. "But I do want you to help me out, like hints and giving me directions and that stuff." After he splendidly and exquisitely explained to me about his full intentions.

[Well let's backtrack that again.] He's still an immature brat km my eyes. But oh well.

"To help you huh..." I touch my cheeks to think of a way of helping the Prince without telling him the answer. [It's difficult though.] 'Cause the answer he was looking for is fundamentally the backbone of the magic that the players used in Endless. So it's hard pulling out the backbone of something. 

After a while and looking at my surroundings. "Ah!" I look at the candle in front of me as inspiration. 

"Prince, to help you out with your problem I have a task for you if you want to solve the problem." I tell him so, and pointed my finger up. 

{Bring forth light.}

A small twinkle of light floats above my finger. 

"Whoa, such a short cast!" Even this simple magic is enough to make the Prince impressed.

[Though that cast was merely an appearance.] I could chant that in my sleep, I have casted worst after all while sleeping in the game. 

"Look." I slowly slide the flicker of light down to my arm.

{Light go forth.}

And with those words, the sphere of light on the tip of my finger slowly go through my skin and merged within my veins, leaving a reddish colored light underneath my skin. 

"Wow..." With nothing else left to say, Prince Gérmann looked at the magic I'm casting with awe. 

[Tis nothing special though.] It's only a simple light spell after all. 

I look at the Prince and get on with the problem he'll have to solve. "Here Prince, you see the light in my wrist right now right?" I show him my wrist. 

"What you have to do here is first slowly pull your finger away while not cancelling your magic." I demonstrate as my finger gets farther and farther away from the magic until I pull it out altogether, while still the light not dissipating. 

"Then stare at the light source carefully and..." I focused my eyes staring at the light, and when I slowly move my eyes downwards.

"It moves without you even saying anything!" Needless to say the Prince was beyond amazed by this. 

The light moves by the direction of my eyes, going down my arm and sometimes using my hands to guide though my chest until... "There we go." The light moves up my left arm until that goes through the tip of my finger.

{Light out.} 

The light finally goes out my body through my fingertips as I grabbed and swiped the light out. 

I look at him again, "I want you to do the same Prince." 

"...gulp." Prince Gérmann could only gulp at this task. But despite that, he's not making a noise of complaint, but rather a weary determination in his eyes. "...It's gonna be difficult Morus, but I'll give it my best shot." He said to me in a wry smile. 

We both smiled and I managed to investigate the magic in this world. [I completed my original task of being here but now...]

"Morus-sama!" Perfect timing. 

It's Kumo, beside him is Gabril, but you couldn't really see their figures because of the amount of books they have on their hands. 

And what are those books exactly? 

"Mori-san~ we collected all of the books about the various deities in this library!" 

That's right the gods, i.e my friends.

And behind me also. "I'm finished Mori-sama!" It's Itia, right across the table she closed the book she's reading and ready to help us out. 

[Alright, the first step to find my friends is on!]

•••

"Really..." Flipping the last page of another one of these books over, I've placed it back on the pile of finished books that are on the table. 

It's been several hours since we read in the library and like a final squirt my vigor from gaining knowledge is thoroughly drained, and my eyes now want to see something that is not written in text at this point. 

And finally, "Done." I stretched my back across the chair and look upon my surroundings. 

In a large reading table there's me, Itia after finishing her share of reading the gods is now reading and investigating about this kingdom like its history, the Xanthos royal family, the system of government, the influential families and many more. 

Kumo, he is still thoroughly investigating the gods of this world, the various sects and deities, and the practices and rituals to see if they line up from our first hand experiences.

And Gabril, who's the one serving us coffee and snacks and generally the one keeping our heads sharp and not become too fatigued from all this reading. 

And speaking of coffee, "Delicious." I sip it gladly and after putting the cup down, "How is everybody doing?" I ask them. 

"Mori-sama, let me speak first." I nodded at her request. "Yes, it seems to me that the capital of this kingdom is the city of Arinna." She says, with her being fully aware of what my reaction would be. 

[Arinna huh...] That name is immediately recognizable to me because it was a city in my era, specifically Arin's fortress. 

Although Atlantis was situated in the middle of the ocean, it was still important for us to have a presence in the mainland, so we established a lot of outposts and colonies on the mainlands where their oceans faced Atlantis. The city of Arinna was one of such settlements founded by Arin. 

[I can't believe that humble city became the capital of an entire kingdom.] On my last visit to Arinna beside its impressive fortifications it was little more than a fortress with a town surrounding it. [Well I should be glad it's still called Arinna at this point.] I smile at that fact. 

But with that revelation, I realized something. "It means I already know this area." Using Arinna as a reference point, it's possible to map out this area of the world. 

"Good job Itia." I praise her of course. "But let's discuss this at a later date." Because many of the things we might say is something that I don't want a certain liege to know.  

"Kumo." He's next, looking at me with a stern eye. 

"Here you go Morus-sama." He flips several books up to my direction and along with that. "Wow, did you draw all of this?" Beside the books are illustrations of my friends in frightening detail on them. 

Silkco in her graceful form, and her husband probably the god of fighting and perseverance Zank-un-Beharren, Arin obviously, even bOb who became a god of lust somehow. 

Not only that gods that I've only mentioned before like Mao, Wana, and Simon have been drawn as well. With them being called god of the dragon, beauty, and intellect respectfully, as well as many others that I'll mention later on. 

"Your drawings are very spot on Kumo." I praise him and he seems very delighted indeed. 

[If it's this then I could fulfill the statues that this guild would want.] It is a very interesting prospect. 

And there seems to be another one that agreed on my thoughts. "Whoa!" It's Prince Gérmann. 

He was very quiet right after I showed him the problem, as he was studying and taking notes very studiously. But when he took a peek at what's happening he grabbed the books Kumo showed me and looked at them intensely. "Oh my..." He's particularly shaking towards the Arin drawing. 

"You, how did you get this of a meticulous figure of Arin-sama himself!" He shouted at Kumo. 

"Well..." I look at him with a smile. 

[Try to solve this on your own.] It's a step for him to be independent of me. Thinking for himself. 

Kumo answered. "Well in my place if origin this was what the The Golden Fortress' appearance would look like." It was very good. 

"I see..." Prince Gérmann looked at the drawing while shaking. 

"That's right Prince." It's time for me to intervene. "Is there anything particular about it?" I ask. 

"Well it's just that..." He holds his mouth while looking at it. "It's just even in the royal palace back at Arinna we didn't have an illustration of our deity as... Majestic as this." He says to me.

Then dropping the book down and looking at me with serious eyes. "I would like to... No, acquire all of the illustrations that Kumo had drawn." He pauses. "Of course, appropriate compensation will apply but these illustrations should be realized in a three dimensional form." He said to me with a grave tone. 

[The heck is happening...?] He was never this serious before, even back at the meeting he wasn't like this. So I need to know first. "I get that but why is this a grave matter for you anyways?" Even if religion is power that shouldn't matter right now. 

"...Well." He looks down. "With this we might finally convince the various cults and sects to unite against the encroachment of a foreign adversary." Now it makes sense. 

[Even if you didn't say it I know that it's about Kurumi.] I immediately thought. [This is a more precarious situation than I previously thought.] Even the limited information this Gérmann gave me it's obvious there's internal conflict going on behind the scenes. 

But with that this will be enough reason already, I guess I should already do the thing that's been going in my mind all this time when I was at the hallways. "Sure." I said to him. 

His face grew a wide smile.

But me too as well I made a mischievous smile. "But only if I make them." I declared. 

His eyes widened. "What?"

I continued. "I have a business proposal for you Prince." It's time to use my previous live's negotiating skills to good use.

Alright everyone it's done! And I have to say that I'm sorry if the plot isn't moving as fast as you would like, this is also another reason why I kinda got on an hiatus, too many things to explain in this part of the story. I would love to skip this part but this is kind of the foundation moving forward, it would set the motivations and goals of the characters in the future so even though laying out foundation's is kinda boring, you couldn't build the house without it I say. But anyways, here you go! :D this cements that I'm fully back in writing this as last chapter the first half is from half a year ago and now, this chapter is all new original material from 3 days ago lol but anyways many arigatou guys and gals! :D

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