Second Section: Abandoned
Chapter Eight: A Moment’s Rest
“You aren’t going to tell me what happened, are you?” Diana asked.
Diana had returned to Reyskaw’s reconstruction chamber after verifying the facts of the story. It was just as he had said: on April 15th, 2011 those five students went missing and didn’t arrive at school that day. With this fact verified, Diana allowed Reyskaw to continue the reconstruction.
That scene that had just played of the person in Cara’s tent had been filled with mystery. The story itself even pointed it out. And because Reyskaw was the one who had reconstructed the scene, that was the same as Reyskaw pointing it out and telling her that it was important.
“Well, let’s consider the possibilities,” Reyskaw said. “If this scene happened, then that’s why I presented it to you. If this scene didn’t happen, it’s because I want to confuse you or set up some trap. So what do you think my goal is here?”
“You said that you wanted to show me what happened to those children. But not too long ago you told me that Monument was a complete lie.”
“That’s not exactly true,” Reyskaw said. “It wasn’t a lie. From a certain perspective, that is exactly what happened. The sorcerer, the missing teacher, the storm, the students behaving strangely, those were all things that happened in the mind of Cara and her friends. Even though they didn’t occur in reality, that is what all five of those students remember which makes it important.”
Diana glared at Reyskaw.
“And after I invited you here to watch this story, a kind action on my part, you treat me like this…” Reyskaw complained with a sad voice.
His sadness at Diana’s response was of course not genuine and was simply an act of comedy. While Diana struggled with the illusion of Monument, the first part of the story, she was slowly forming a theory about it. Diana considered the latest development and began to wonder what effect it had on her theory.
She really didn’t understand that man called Reyskaw. It was clear that he was trying to show her a true story, but it seemed lies were also mixed in with the truth. Why wouldn’t he just tell her simply and clearly what had happened?
“Are you not going to show me the rest?” she asked.
“I think we should take a short break,” Reyskaw suggested. “I’m sure you’d like to theorize a little more before we continue on.”
Before Diana could respond, she found herself back in the Great Library proper. She was in the central building underneath a large circular skylight. The reconstruction chamber was under Reyskaw’s control so he had the right to kick her out if he wanted to.
The sun shone brightly and completely lit the spacious chamber she was now in. The Great Library was a series of complex buildings and this one was the center of it all. As usual, Diana found herself alone and in complete silence. While this chamber was the true center of the Great Library, it was not a place where many people gathered.
There were three floors above her that looked more like balconies. Bookcases lined the walls and the floors were covered with sturdy carpeting. In the past she had browsed the books on the shelves and found all of them to be empty. She didn’t really understand the purpose of this place, but it wasn’t odd enough that it concerned her.
Surprisingly, a door opened and a man resembling a Historian entered. His uniform was more elaborate than that of the Historians clad in green robes so Diana imagined he was of a very high rank. His uniform wasn’t as strange as Reyskaw’s, but she had never seen it before.
“Are you Miss Diana?” he asked.
“Oh, yes, uh… sir.”
She didn’t know how to address that man so she assumed he was her superior.
“I am Nero Claudius Caesar, the Emperor of the Great Library.”
Diana was shocked. The Emperor of the Library was looked up to by everyone, even by its owners.
The Great Library was owned by a board of directors and The Emperor was the direct descendant of the man who had originally built it. It was so long ago that his name had been long forgotten. It was rumored that his name was derived from the first Roman Emperor, so it became common for Emperors to take the name of a Roman Emperor out of respect for his role in the creation of this place.
There was a problem with that theory, but Diana didn’t know enough about the history of the Great Library to understand that Romans had nothing to do with it.
Nero was an interesting name to take. The rule of Emperor Nero long ago during the was generally not looked upon favorably. Diana was interested in why he had chosen that name, but dared not to ask about it. Being in the presence of the Emperor meant she needed to act with dignity.
“You’ve been staring at me for a while now,” Nero said as he looked upwards. The bright sunshine had faded and gray clouds were gathering. A sudden storm was brewing.
“I-I apologize. I just never expected to meet you, Emperor.”
Nero looked back down and directly at her. “Please call me Nero. There’s no need to for you to be so afraid of addressing me improperly.”
As the Emperor didn’t have a regular presence in the Great Library, Diana hadn’t even known his name. She had only heard of the great emperor and always had the impression that he was in some far-off place.
After a bit of a pause, Nero began to walk away and muttered something to himself that Diana couldn’t hear well. It sounded like ‘we’ll meet again soon’, but she wasn’t certain.
The world around Diana shifted without her even noticing. As quickly as she had been kicked out moments before, she was now back in Reyskaw’s chamber.
“I’ve made up my mind. The story continues as I originally planned. We really don’t have time to take such frequent breaks even if it would be easier on you.”
“Oh, of course. Continue, please.”
“You seem distracted,” Reyskaw noticed.
This was natural to assume as Diana had responded while facing the wall. After she had been teleported into the chamber, she hadn’t even turned around. She suddenly became embarrassed and spun around to face Reyskaw.
“It’s nothing important. I’m ready to continue the story,” she said while trying to remain composed.
Reyskaw looked at her curiously for a moment before turning back toward the image of the story. The chamber’s lights faded once again as the story resumed.