Due to spoilers, please click Read More after reading the previous chapters.
April 25th, 2011
Chapter Ten: Daily Life
“I’m very grateful that you can cook,” Reyskaw said.
“It’s not like we need to eat,” Nero replied.
“Regardless, we have a lot of free time each day. It’s nice to be able to enjoy good food and I know that I’d be horrible at cooking.”
“I don’t see how that would be true. We both have the same amount of starting experience; that being zero. I was a pawn used by Program Blue and you existed in this place before it was created. If anything, I’d expect you to be better than me.”
“Well, I can always try it one day. Learning to cook might just add more stress to the situation though. Eating food on the other hand is great at relieving stress.”
“Reyskaw, that’s how people gain weight…”
“I wonder, can we gain weight?”
“Let’s not find out.”
Nero finished the sandwiches he was preparing and brought them to Reyskaw who was in the dining room. The kitchen and dining room hadn’t existed in the original Great Library. They were rooms that Reyskaw had reconstructed.
Reyskaw immediately began stuffing his face with the sandwich and gave a thumbs-up signal to Nero. The sandwiches themselves combined the cooking styles of the Vietnamese with the influence of the French. Served using baguettes, the sandwiches contained perfectly cooked pork loin chops, chili sauce, lime juice, garlic, and some other ingredients that Reyskaw had forgotten.
Perhaps Nero thought that he wasn’t a good cook, but the sandwich was evidence against that idea. All of his culinary work was proof of his skill. Yesterday he had made delicious eggs seasoned with various spices and topped with cheese.
“Our way of life is probably the strangest there is,” Nero said as he watched Reyskaw devour the sandwiches.
“It’s not too bad,” Reyskaw managed to say with a mouth full of food. “I’m sure people who don’t need to work to survive live like this. Things may be peaceful now, but once Radcliffe reports back to us we’ll have a lot to deal with.”
“You do remember that you killed me, right? That’s not exactly as normal as you’re trying to portray it.”
“I think you’ve mentioned it a few times. It’s all fine now. You killed Alan and Trixie, then I killed you, and now we’re all here.”
“The emotions from that time were quite intense. We shouldn’t speak so casually about it.”
“I’m the one at fault here, I know. I wouldn’t want to dishonor anything that happened during that time. It’s been several weeks, but it feels like we’re living in an entirely different world now.”
“I’m glad to see that you’re returning to your original state. You became quite depressed recently and I was worried for you.”
“I know. It’s something that I’m ashamed of.”
“Everyone has some sort of weakness,” said Nero. “I used to enjoy emulating an insane A.I. and now I don’t have any desire to kill people needlessly.”
“That’s serious character growth,” said Reyskaw. “If anything, I’ve fallen since fighting Blue. I still don’t know anything about my Reconstruction ability, I don’t remember my past, and now there’s this situation with Cara and Radcliffe is keeping us in the dark.”
“Don’t forget the ghost,” said Nero.
Reyskaw’s eyes widened. “What ghost?”
He took another bite of the sandwich and listened intently to what Nero had to say.
“Last night, I had just settled into my bed and I was reading one of the books from the nearby bookshelves. I put the book down and I was about to turn off the lights when I heard a noise outside the room and a barely audible voice. I called out your name and then I heard the footsteps quickly move away. I then proceeded to lock my door and run to my bed. I even slept with the lights on.”
“Nero, this is serious. I created a door to the outside world for Diana. Do you know what kind of unspeakable evil could be in the Great Library at this very moment?”
“Reyskaw, don’t say that… I’ll never get to sleep again!”
“Shouldn’t you have more courage? You’re based off of a Roman Emperor.”
“It’s just a name, not a personality. And I am capable of dealing with difficult situations if I know who my enemy is. But you can’t fight a ghost which is why they’re so terrifying. We should go patrolling and look for it.”
“It could be gone by now, you know.”
“Are you afraid of it?”
“It’s a matter of self-preservation. We vowed to help Cara and we can’t do that if we’re dead.”
“No, that’s now how I-”
Nero grabbed Reyskaw and pulled him from his chair. While Reyskaw was trying to have a bit of fun, Nero was certainly not. Now that the Great Library was filled with daylight, Nero was ready to slay whatever the creature was.
And so the Reconstructionist and the Emperor patrolled the Great Library. They were looking for evidence of a ghost, but Reyskaw appreciated the ideal atmosphere that they had been living in for the past few days. Although they hadn’t escaped strange plots and dire situations, an average day for him consisted of the peaceful freedom that he had hoped for after Program Blue’s defeat.
When Diana had compared him to Program Blue and ran away, Reyskaw took that as an attack upon his ideal world. He wanted Diana, someone he had taken care of like a daughter, to be able to live a carefree life with him. The feeling of rejection after she left was significant.
However, if he really thought of her as a daughter then that would make him a parent. Therefore, he was right in allowing her to leave. It wasn’t his right to force his ideal life upon her. That thought comforted Reyskaw, but that scar still wouldn’t heal.
For the rest of the journey, Reyskaw continued to speak to Nero. In the end, they didn’t find the strange being that had infiltrated the Great Library.