[A silent library, the place sitting at the edge. A chamber filled with a mysterious light. Only known to a few and those who utter its name call it-]
[From within laid a collection of books which wrapped around the foot of a throne. In this hall of mystery, the roof appeared miles beyond, stretched, almost rising tall enough to fly into the stars. It enveloped everything, which could be perceived by others that it had no end. The opposite side of the Archives is blanketed with a deep sea of unknown darkness, dimly brightened by a few scattered speckles of strange orbs that roamed around. The shelves were stacked high, only proceeding a few centimeters away from scrapping the ceiling. They’re elongated, tracking miles away from where the throne sat, with a deafening hush falling in the area. Only being able to hear a murmur, that waded through the thick pages of revelation.]
"I thought it would work this time..."
[The troubled voice of a petite child says as a tattered cloak spills over the arms of the crimson throne. On the back of the throne, gemstones blossom and roses glitter up the end, firm and beautiful against the void. At the front, a sullen boy sits. His dress shirt, necktie, and mulberry vest are just a bit too large for someone of his stature. However, he is who he is. So who he is wasn’t someone whom you can cast this way or that, though his face stands wrought with annoyance and scrunched up like a roll of paper. It’s obvious the book he held brought numerous amount of anguish to him, making him groan solely by viewing it. The boy’s nails gouged into the books frame while veins begin to protrude out of his neck with teeth grinding together at the ridges of his lips.]
"Figures, you'd rather damn yourself to non-existence than complete my quest."
[In a fit of rage, the boy throws his book, disregarding anyone whom he might smack along the way. The book pauses in mid air seemingly suspended in time. It swivels, cutting through the air like a knife. The pile of books stacked at his feet swiftly followed, rising and spiraling through the library creating a hurricane of text. Amidst the storm of pages, his chair glides near the racks of the library gracefully disappearing behind the conglomerate of shelves.]
"Does Father allow this to occur? Tch, were my estimations off?"
[Disappointment settles in his belly. The feeling of despair collides into the collective inside of his throat.]
[The child's eyes remain dejected, saddened by failure while he gapes into the void to retrieve another book — a world composed of vast knowledge, large enough to collapse an entire city into words. A plethora of novels neatly stacked between every wooden shelf. He observed the pages and spines that were always devoid of any wear. It was familiar and strange to him, but he always knew this is how things were. If one piece of the manuscripts were misplaced, it would only fly away, similar to a bird trying to find its way back home. He wondered how the books knew. He could see this library had no end while studying through the hundreds of books that lined the single quarter.]
“What must I do to get everything I need?”
[He sighs, biting the tip of his thumb while brushing his index finger on the tail of the tomes.]
“No matter, I'll have to test another.”
[Eternally unyielding in his quest. The boy carries on with the feeling of burning fire in his heart.]
[He reaches out for another book, but something stops his movement. A faint stomp or pitter patter of feet, It was slow but elegant with each step. The child sighed at the loud noises echoing throughout the chamber, for the presence didn't want to hide, but to thoroughly let itself become known, whether it was from the rhythm of its feet or the tone of its voice. He yielded to it, realizing he couldn't avoid this sneaky resident.]
"You're still reading that boring thing? Why even look? You know what the outcome will be."
[The voice of a woman made a nerve twist in the boy's head. Her booming voice and forked tongue pierced into his emotional core. He hissed back, annoyed at an unwelcomed invader as the resident decreased her pace, coming a few meters out of the light that cast a shadow.]
"Honestly, the failure of your protegee shouldn't be a surprise. Demanding them to take on one of our tasks is comparable to requiring an ant to build a stairway to the sun."
[She holds nothing back mockingly stating the obvious. The boy slams his book shut, with the vibration echoing throughout the halls and shelves. The guest glances momentarily at the source when their eyes meet.]
"Why are you here?"
[He responded as she flung her head back and roared, a loud horselaugh, at his cold eyes and snapping tongue. She wasn't shoved or threatened by his posture, but more interested in his rage.]
"Wow, that bad huh? How many fails does this make, hehe, again?"
[Her whimsical nature tiptoed over his inquiry, sparking a profound seething irritation inside him. The boy fires daggers with his eyes, trying his best to burn her away with his gaze.]
"Calm down, Hu-hu, I only desire to view what my little brother is getting himself into."
"If I'm correct, you're aware of my whereabouts every period. Besides, Father has given you the courtesy of sight has he not?"
[Even with his adult-like demeanor, he relished in correcting her. She gives a slight giggle, taking delight in toying with him.]
"Is there a splinter in your paw, Zahl? Observing what you're doing and stopping by are two distinct things entirely. For a being such as the likes of yourself, I'd assume you'd recognize the difference."
"Then you're a bigger fool than I took you for if you'd think I'd believe you're here for no reason. Unless there's been a change in who you are, though I highly doubt it."
[After he responds to her words, he closes his mouth, preferring to let the conversation hang in silence. He takes his book and hurls it. Again it freezes, preparing to launch off into the ether.]
[He shouts. The book rotates, only to descend with grace, softly settling at the foundation of his throne.]
[The woman steps out of the shadows dragging along her silky yellow hair. It is long like a waterfall, beautiful, while it rolled down to the ground. The glow of the light illuminated her peach skin. In one hand a lance, decorated with wildflowers accompanied by a gold woodwind around the hilt. She wore a white robe that was outfitted with rainbow-like armor on her shoulders, torso, and legs, making her shine into a lovely shade of vibrant colors.]
"And by the Gods, do you live in a pigsty? Don't leave everything to the Archives."
"You're concerned about the wrong thing, Ikaguai. That eccentric character of yours is an irritant in itself. It saddens my heart that your mannerisms seem to creep closer to the mass that is humanity."
[She rolls her eyes and folds her arms.]
"Ugh, you're pretentious. Humans aren't bad. I swear, one-day that cold demeanor will turn your body into ice and shatter it. I understand they have their shortcomings, sure, but don't treat them like second-class citizens."
[The pain in the boy's head grows when the loud visitor refuses to leave. He sighs, browsing his eyes along the shelves, flicking open another book while the woman stands there, grimacing.]
"We needn't debate this droll subject again. It's a misuse of both our time. The worlds still turn, so unless you have more to say. I desire to start reading again, Preferably, without any distractions..."
[She stands there in silence when the boy proceeds to read his book ignoring her existence.]
"Fine, business it is then."
[She groans while reluctantly and casually lifting her arm, with a snap her fingers and a crawling mist, that crept through the cracks of the wooden floors, something begins pulling itself into existence, forming from the thick smoke. The spine was pristine while the pages flicked furiously, abruptly slamming shut and hovering several meters in front of her. It was a novel the child had never examined before. Her grin swiftly collapses, while the shadows creeping through the Archives seem to rise and ready themselves for the occasion. Zahl studies the book up and down.]
"Why do you have that?"
[He gazes blankly at the floating object while questioning her. She speaks over him without a measure of playfulness.]
"Because there was a tremor in the Archives."
[He closes his book while swishing his messy hair. He neatly stacks the text within the fold of the shelf.]
"I'm aware, but why do you have "that"?"
[She raises an eyebrow unwilling to accept that answer.]
"Because you haven't reviewed this. Father is quite straightforward about our responsibilities. After all, this one came from the Riza."
[His tone was dull and lacked motivation. In his mind, he could care less about what the Riza would produce. His outward attitude was enough to infuriate the flames within the woman.]
"Ah, Gods Zahl honestly? You know what Father will order the rest of us to do if one of us stumbles out of line. I can't believe you of all beings are slacking off. If you're permitting this search to supersede your duties to Father, I'll have to--"
[He stands up from his seat lifting his hand. The book carves through the wind at a blinding rate, softly arriving in his palm.]
"I'd sooner torture myself in a thousand timelines than have the likes of you lecture me on the context of my existence."
"Fine, do what you will."
[She murmurs under her breath; ignoring her plight the boy turns his back, taking time to examine over the item delivered to him intricately.]
[His eyes swell with anxiety; his breathing becomes ragged. Frustration clouds his voice.]
"Hm, I'm figuring Riza approves of rubbish now?"
[The woman flings her spear down, producing a shockwave near the passageway. Books plunge off the shelves while beating the ground with thunderous force.]
"Enough, hold your tongue brother; I'll not stand for the defamation of that which is unending."
"Defamation? Haha, no that's not defamation. It's a puzzle. An enigma. A question. Tell me-"
[Taking the book, he hoists it into the air placing his entire body into throwing it back at her, but it stops a few feet in front of her.]
"What is this atrocity...?!”
[She quietly looks at him when his eyes begin to water. Disappointment coated on both of their faces. Ikaguai speaks up trying to explain the situation.]
"This is the latest iteration the Riza produced, albeit a bit extreme."
[The boy slams his foot. His face brimming with disgust.]
"A bit? Why is this dedicated to that lunatic and why would Father permit such a thing to exist?!"
[She groans and shakes her head while seizing ahold of the situation, she continues to speak calmly.]
"Soothe yourself brother. You're behaving like your avatar.”
“Tch, my entire being is slipping, and you bring pollution to my hands? To my library!”
[He spits on the ground directing his attention away from her.]
“Listen, Father has no authority over what it does. Additionally, he probably hates this more than you do, and It's not hard to fully grasp the reason why. We all fully understand what's happening. Which is the reason why Father is so upset with you for not looking into this."
[He turns around looking at her while tilting his head. She clutches the book and dangles it in front of him.]
"The main reason why I brought this, is because he said you'd find whatever you're searching for here."
"Huh..? What I'm searching? Y-You mean-"
[The boy ponders while looking at the woman's face with suspicion in his eyes. Knowledgeable he may be, yet always the skeptic he is. It's something he needed so badly, but in a place where his adversary reigns supreme. He knew in his heart of hearts the price of doing such a thing.]
"That's what Father says, yes. Unlike the selfishness you project, he has your best interest at heart. Finding another protegee here shouldn't be a problem. Do you understand now you idiot?"
[He turns his nose up at her.]
“Hmph, I'll hold my tongue for now.”
[She speaks volumes, ensuring him to trust her words and the quality of her keepsake. The boy sinks his shoulders, giving up the argument. For in his mind he knew it had a price. Their lives didn't matter, only his gain.]
"This world isn't like the others we've ventured before."
"Yes, this one is a wicked, morbid joke."
[He reluctantly reaches his hand out to claim what he considers is rightfully his.]
[The woman extends the book to him, and with a pillar of blinding light enough to encompass the entire Archives, they vanish into the stream without a trace.]