Suddenly, I felt like a voice could be heard somewhere.
I closed my book and listened.
Perhaps Prince Remnass has come once more?
Time and time again, always during Book-sama’s absence.
Just as I imagined, it seems that Prince Remnass is at the door.
But, this is strange isn’t it?
Usually, he would be a lot noisier than this.
In front of the door that once again fell back into silence, I can definitely feel the presence of Prince Remnass.
“Don’t… Open the door…”
A pained voice squeezed its way from the other side.
Don’t open the door?
Not, open the door please?
As I was becoming skeptical, a different voice from The Prince spoke out.
“Please do hurry up and let me in, The Prince is gonna die you know?”
Just who could be the one giggling over there?
I’ve never heard this voice before.
Plus, when she says The Prince is gonna die…
“Hey hey, are you listening? If you don’t open this door, The Prince is going to breeaak!”
Just what in the world is happening here?
Due to the pained voice of Prince Remnass, I timidly opened up the door.
“You can’t, open it…! Hurry, inside…!”
The bloody Prince was crouching in front of the door, and beside him was the lovely noble girl, giggling.
Just what the heck is going on here?
“I’ve finally found yooou! All of the books, I shall be taking them all. Stand aside!”
The noble girl pushed me with all her might, making me fall back.
Taking the books?
I will allow no such thing.
I am the Librarian of this floor after all.
I must protect all of the books here.
The noble girl chanted some kind of spell, and book after book started to gently rise up.
Overhead, a giant magic circle wavered in the air.
That’s… a teleportation circle!
It seems she really does intend to steal all the books.
I won’t allow it!
I summoned my grimoire in my left hand and immediately started my counter.
With my right hand, I restrained the noble girl with a torrent of lightning.
However, my binding was quickly undone.
“How impertinent. All of the other Librarians had gone to sleep, so why are you the only one still awake?!”
The noble girl exclaimed in annoyance as she summoned a sword of ice.
In a flash, the sword shot out, but I block it by summoning a barrier.
If all the other Librarians are sleeping, I probably shouldn’t count on any help arriving then.
“Just who in the world are you?”
It’s quite obvious now that she isn’t just some noble girl.
I completely repelled the sword that had been shot by her and retaliated with a blade of wind.
The noble girl easily avoided the wind blade and came after me with a blade of ice.
“I am Dower. Do as I say and hand over the books. If you do so, I will at least spare your lives. Your lives aren’t worth all that much anyways.”
“All of the books here are the property of Book-sama. We Librarians have a duty to protect them!”
“I see, then I shall erase you and the Prince!”
The noble girl underwent a grotesque transformation before my eyes.
That figure… was the same as those of the otherworld invaders Book-sama is always intercepting.
If a human started turning into a bat, it would probably look something like this.
Dower, who had returned to her original form, summoned dozens of ice blades one after another and shot them at my barrier.
I protected the fallen Prince Remnass behind me and fired back with my blades of wind, but they were all avoided.
Just how quick is she?
If it weren’t for all the books around me, I would also be bringing forth more violent spells; this was just not possible.
If I were to bring out my strongest firepower here, the precious books would be obliterated.
That must be avoided at all cost.
A minute turned into an hour.
In the battle where ten minutes felt like an eternity, Dower and I both became exhausted, but even so, our attacks never ceased.
Little by little, we became unable to dodge or defend against each other’s attacks, and both of our bodies were pierced with blades.
This is quite bad isn’t it…
I do excel in attacking, but I am not skilled in healing.
I do not have any method of recovery during a battle.
However, perhaps being used to fighting, Dower was drinking medicine while casting offensive magic, effortlessly healing and fighting at the same time.
If only I had some healing medicine. Unfortunately, I did not have even a single one with me.
I must end it with the next strike.
I could feel my magic power slowly depleting.
If I continue to attack like this, the barrier will eventually come apart.
The magic power to maintain it was nearly gone.
I held the grimoire in my left hand and raised up my right.
The grimoire grew remarkably brighter.
“That’s, that spell is… Kuh, I won’t let you!”
Dower realised my objective and sped up her attacks.
The barrier was being cut up again and again and would soon be broken through.
Everything will depend on whether it will hold until I finish chanting my spell or not.
Please, hold on.
Dower’s greatest attack was breaking through my barrier, and the completion of the chant to my spell was almost at hand.
They… roughly happened at the same time.
Before my eyes, Dower dispersed.
A simultaneous hit.
That was what I thought had happened.
Since the books were protected, I am satisfied.
However, the Prince stood in the way between me and Dower.
With a lurch…
The Prince’s body fell over.
From his chest to his stomach was a deep cut, and blood was overflowing from it.
“Hanabelle… please, run away…”
The Prince, perhaps no longer able to keep his eyes open, desperately continued to tell me to flee.
“Why did you protect someone like me!! Dower is already gone. Prince, please get a hold of yourself!”
“Why…? You don’t know… Hanabelle…?”
The Prince, mustering up his strength, hugged me tightly.
“It was you… Only you… The one who said they loved… the colour of my hair, the colour of my eyes…”
As if delerious, the Prince spoke.
In this world, I have never seen anyone with the same coloured features as the Prince.
Not even in the royal family.
That was why I knew that there were people who said thoughtless things about it as well.
However, to me, there are no colours that I like more.
Like a book, that gentle colour.
“Prince, please try to stay still.”
I am in the middle of concentrating my consciousness.
I am poor at healing magic.
However, I must do this.
I, on the Prince’s lips, gently placed my own.
From the lips, through the Prince, I poured in my magic power all at once.
The blood flowing from Prince Remnass’s wounds stop, and the wounds start to close up.
Thank god, it seems that it went well.
“Prince, please refrain from moving. The magic may have healed you, but it is only a temporary measure. We must get a healer to properly have a look at you.”
My magic was not suited for healing after all.
As a quick countermeasure, I’ve only simply poured my magic power into the patient’s body.
The Prince faintly opened his eyes.
“Hanabelle, just now, you…”
“What might you be referring to?”
I turned my face away.
This… was just treatment!
It was definitely… not something like a kiss.
“Nn, would you please get go, Prince?”
“You’re safe? You’re not hurt anywhere, right?!”
Why is he clinging onto me?
For him to immediately worry about my safety the moment he regained consciousness and could move again…
“Hanabelle, your face is red…”
“It’s, just your imagination. I am fine, so could you please let go with your arm.”
I can feel my face heating up.
It seems I might have a fever or something.
“Please say you’ll come back. The annulment… those weren’t my true feelings.”
“Please believe me.”
The Prince was probably being manipulated by Dower.
In order for her to obtain the royal library.
Firmly, the Prince redoubles the strength of his embrace.
The Prince’s face approaches mine, and…
The space distorted and Book-sama appeared.
“Oh my, it seems I be interrupting.”
I stood up in a flash.
Startled by the arrival of Book-sama, Prince Remnass’s arm slackened.
“Dower appeared here. However, the situation was successfully responded to.”
“It seems that this is indeed so. Though, are you sure it’s fine not to respond to that one over there?”
Book-sama looks at Prince Remnass.
That face… was like that of a mischievous child.
“He is… that’s…”
Book-sama gently patted my head.
Seeing that, Remnass-sama prostrated himself towards Book-sama.
“Book-sama, please return Hanabelle!”
“Nn, Remnass-sama, what are you saying all of of a sudden?”
“No, this is not sudden, I have pleaded many times already. Today, I shall have you grant my request!”
“Fumu. I have said many a time myself, no? It is not as if I have captured Hanabelle here. If she so wishes, I mind not whenever should she leave this place.
Earlier when you had said that you would avoid leaving the tower, there was also that strange scent, wasn’t there.”
The strange presence was most likely from Dower disguised as the noble girl.
It must have lingered on Prince Remnass and was transferred to me.
“Hanabelle, what do you want to do?”
Prince Remnass looks at me with pleading eyes.
However, my feelings had been decided long ago.
“I wish to stay in this tower. To live in Biblio Tower has been my dream since I was young.”
Dyed in despair, Prince Remnass covered his face.
I am sorry.
“If I can live in this tower, I can disregard social standings. Things like commoners, count’s daughters… princesses.”
“Prince Remnass, could you please not embrace me like so?! I am definitely not leaving this tower alright?!”
“I don’t mind! If social standings don’t matter here, then I will quit being a prince and come live here!”
“Ehh?! But there are no free rooms at the moment?”
“Hanabelle, I doth think that is not the main issue here…”
“Is it not fine for my abode to be this floor? I wish to live in the same place as Hanabelle!”
“I do not wish for my reading to be disturbed!”
“I will not disturb you. Let us continue to read books together! And so, let us go weave our own story together, the only story of its kind in this entire world!”
The only story of its kind…
At those words, my heart leaped with a thump.
Prince Remnass, with the colours of a book.
A story weaved with him, I realised, was something I definitely wanted to read.
“It seems to have been settled, then. Let us prepare his room. From today on, he is a resident of this tower.”
Laughing like a certain old man in a red suit, Book-sama took the Prince along.
A few days later.
“Hey, Hanabelle. Today, shall we talk about ‘The Demon King and the Seven Dwarves’?”
“Alright. Let us start with why the Demon King put the Dwarves in the castle, then.”
As promised, Prince Remnass made certain to not get in the way of my reading.
Every day, he came to my room to be engrossed in reading, or occasionally, discussing the contents of a book like this.
I had thought that books were things only for reading.
However, deeply discussing about the contents is a great thing too, huh.
The problem was…
“Why… are you embracing me today as well?!”
“We can still talk even while embracing after all.”
Though other than during reading time, Prince Remnass would always sit in a chair and hug me without letting go like this.
“Is this unpleasant, Hanabelle?”
“… Please do not make me say it.”
I softly put my arm around the Prince’s back.
As my face neared his chest, I could feel the Prince’s heartbeat quicken.
I am sure that my own heartbeat is also speeding up just the same.
The story that we weave… is one of a happy future.