On a Godless Planet:Volume1 Chapter 3
“I didn’t expect him to actually go to the library like that. I guess he takes this more seriously than you would think.”
Shifu commented while viewing a board modeled after a fantasy village.
“It is only natural for the ignorant to seek out knowledge.”
Kuwajiri replied while taking over all the shops on the right side of the board.
“And from what I’ve seen, ‘our’ library has pretty much everything he might need.”
“You’re so strict, Kuwajiri-chan.”
“Only cause she likes him, I bet.”
“I simply don’t want him holding us back. Oh, and I will be taking that fruit shop, Tooru-senpai. That gives me 8 fruit distribution cards, so I will be drawing a card.”
“Are you kidding me?”
She ignored him, drew the card, and played it.
“Any player with fewer than 5 shops cannot move for 1 turn. Or more simply, none of you can move.”
Shifu had thought Kuwajiri relied entirely on her general knowledge when it came to these financial games, but now she was using something she learned during a previous play through.
“I swear you intellectual types are unbeatable.”
“No, I am no match for Raidou-senpai in combat games. And you take material-gathering games far too seriously. Kido-senpai always wins the production games, Tenma-kun always wins the negotiation games, and…”
“Okay, I get it, I get it. You can’t even be humble without showing off how much you know, can you?”
The way she shrank down and lowered her head was really cute.
…So why is she so strict when it comes to Sumeragi-chan?
“Well, you are a lot like Sumeragi-chan in some ways.”
“No, I am not.”
She stated it plainly, but she felt the need to say more. She must have felt her contradiction was disrespectful.
“I’m a little worried about this. And I get the feeling you two are as well.”
Tooru heard his partner say “I see”.
It meant a lot that Saku was indicating her understanding instead of teasing the girl.
…Well, she is right.
“Sumeragi’s an idiot, but he’s not a bad guy. He’s a born idiot just like Rocky, but at least he’s got a positive outlook on life.”
“Ohh, that’s high praise from you, Tooru!”
“No one who loves big boobs could be a bad guy.”
“Now you’re just complimenting yourself, aren’t you?”
“What’s wrong with that?” he said while waving a hand to skip his turn since he could not move. Then Tsubomi sighed and spoke.
“So when are we going to give him spoilers?”
“We kind of already did.”
Saku had to agree with Tooru.
“We’re not bound by our names over there, so we can tell him like normal. But I’d prefer if he understands the system better first.”
“That’s true. It could be dangerous if we don’t have a common understanding and a shared objective, at least to a certain extent.”
“Well, I bet he’ll have it mostly figured out today. We met his partner a few times during the previous stage, but that didn’t really give us all the info we might want. We also don’t know what standard Sumeragi used to choose her.”
Tooru thought for a bit and then punched his palm.
“Her big boobs. That’s gotta be it.”
“Can you not act like that’s the only conceivable reason?”
And just as Saku said that…
“Tiiiime for something absurrrrd.”
Yomoji had barely moved at all this whole time, but now he spread his arms and set down one of his game pieces. It was within the right-side area controlled by Kuwajiri, but…
“Eh? Yomoji-senpai, you can’t move.”
“That rule iiiiis in effect, but ooooonly in the shopping diiiistrict.”
“IIII control 7 of the government ooooffices, so the tax office demaaaands you pay up! Whoever has the moooost shops must give me halllllf their total assets.”
“In a fantasy world, a 50% tax might not be that bad.”
Saku began wondering what to do while stuck with just 2 shops. And…
“So Sumeragi’s in the library, huh?”
“I wonder if Scare’s there.”
“It’s the early afternoon, so Omokane-senpai will be there too.”
“I see,” said Tooru this time, so Saku smiled at him with a look that said “Oh, what’s this?”
“The library’s their home base, isn’t it? Well, I bet this will all be a waste of time after tonight’s game anyway.”
The library is so great! There’s a librarian girl! With glasses! Which makes it even better!
I was in top form.
I started shaking up and down between the bookcases, but I just had to express my love for something so great! My body refused to stay silent!
Anyway, after three sets of shaking excitement, I regulated my breathing. I held some terraforming books.
I had initially considered wandering around the library at random, but I got super excited when I saw the person at the checkout desk: a glasses librarian, upperclassman librarian, girl librarian, and busty librarian all rolled into one. Librarians are so good! It’s not a true library without one of those! Hell, yes! I wanted to visit here once a day even when I didn’t need a book to read.
Anyway, I knew I had to speak with her, but I screwed it up.
“U-u-u-um, excuse me.”
Wow was I ever panicking. Of course I was. She was busty, a glasses girl, a librarian, and most likely an upperclassman to boot. She wore an inner suit, a summer uniform, and a stole to combat the library’s air-conditioning. And based on her hair and eye color, she was not Japanese, so it was time to put my English skills to the test.
“Eh? Um, uhh.”
“Japanese is fine. I was assigned to Japan, after all.”
“Eh? Oh! Yes! Thank you very much! My name is Sumeragi!”
She nodded and I noticed a cane leaning against her side of the counter, so I waited for her to use the armrest to stand up.
“I’m looking for information on terraforming.”
“Oh, you mean in ‘that world’?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
I needed to learn about terraforming. In other words…
“I need to know the right way to tear up my form.”
She fell silent, so I calmly explained with confidence.
“The others I know are obsessed players with god-level characters and they were saying something about terraforming. So I’m guessing reaching the level of a god character requires taking the paperwork for your human character and tearing it up. In other words, I need to ‘tear a form’.”
She placed a hand on her forehead to think and I assumed this meant the library didn’t have game walkthroughs.
“Do I need to visit an outside bookstore for video game stuff?”
“No, it isn’t that…”
She nodded and calmly explained.
“Terraforming does not mean tearing up a form. It means altering a planet’s environment.”
Whoops, I was a little too over the top there. I can be a little dramatic on occasion, you see. But…
I read the nametag on her large chest while she thought again.
It said Kubiko Scarecrow.
Since she wore a new style uniform, she would be a 3rd year. But since she had chosen the New Cult courses while needing a cane, the New Cult industry must have had proper accessibility measures in place. That was definitely where my mind went and not “wow, they’re round” or “they’re so big” or “you can really see the pull of gravity there”. Although I may have been staring.
Then she nodded once.
“Do you have a moment? Terraforming has nothing to do with tearing or document forms. It refers to the work of remaking a planet into a livable environment for humans.”
She explained it all for me, but long story short: I was really embarrassed!!
But it was never too late to learn. This was a good chance to give myself a decent foundation in science and math. Yes, I could whip myself into shape with some S&M! Well, maybe this was more about vocabulary, but whatever. Also, this meant only the busty librarian upperclassman and I knew what an idiot I had been! It was our little secret! Don’t you dare point out that this was a secret I’d rather she forgot! Because you’d be right! Still, this put me a step or two ahead of the common folk who only come to the library and check out books! Even if those were steps in the wrong direction.
Anyway, she told me what fields I needed to learn about in order to alter planetary environments via terraforming. Like geology and environmental science. I went around gathering some books on those subjects that even an idiot could understand. I wanted lots of visuals. Ones with color. She even told me about 5 that used manga to explain it. Then I checked the health and art books and…oh, would you look at that? There were some foreign books and…ohhhhhh, now this is art! Yes, it’s art, so it’s okay to look at! I would only use it for education, but I had my doubts about all of you who had checked it out ahead of me. And to help people find it, I stuck it right at the end of the shelf.
Then I returned to the counter.
“Umm, I need a library card.”
“In that case, we can do it back here.”
“Do it back there? How bold!”
I slapped my cheek once. And then…
“You can get your library card over here, Sumeragi-kouhai.”
I heard a female voice and turned around to find a new style uniform, except this was a boy’s uniform. She had black hair and she stepped out of the document room in the back of the library.
“These are ferrets. They insist on staying with me.”
She had a white weasel on each shoulder.
I felt like our school had a lot of weird people. I was fairly normal myself, so I wanted a little more than just good looks, a decent sized chest, and two pets.
“I am Library Committee Head Omokane.”
…Library Committee Head will do the trick!
A Library Committee Head sounded pretty great to me. I could picture it already: the sun shining into the library and the two pet weasels on her shoulders while she flipped lazily through a hardcover book!
I slapped my cheek again.
“Sorry! The phrase ‘Library Committee Head’ hit me just right!”
“You’re honest but also an idiot, aren’t you?”
“And you don’t mince your words, do you!?”
“No, I suppose not,” she said while looking at the books I had placed on the counter.
“Learning about terraforming, are you? I would love to help you if we had the authority.”
“Oh? Do you play that game too, Library Committee Head?”
“I command the Shinto side of it. That relates to you too.”
That sounded oddly meaningful for some reason.
I had heard something about my human character being Shinto. The Library Committee Head laughed quietly.
“I know you died immediately last night.”
She handed me my new library card and I bowed. And then it hit me.
“Are you one of the obsessive players too? The ones with god characters, I mean.”
“I’ve been a part of that for a while.”
She didn’t seem like the type, but you couldn’t judge a book by its cover. In fact…
“Does playing it help you get into a good college or get a good job in the New Cult industry?”
“Wait, no one’s told you yet?”
With a light wave of her hand, a glowing panel appeared in front of her.
It looked a lot like a hologram.
“Is that an illusion?”
I mean, it just appeared out of thin air. Um, y’know, it was like a console or multi-window in a video game. Something just like that had appeared there and she was using it.
She pulled up some kind of list and it looked like she and the weasels were checking to see if something was on that list. However…
…What is that?
Just as I wondered that, Scarecrow-senpai (Scareko-senpai?) noticed me staring and quickly called out to the Library Committee Head.
“Yatsui, put that away.”
The Library Committee Head looked up and also notice me staring. Then…
She nodded a few times as she erased the illusion. It quietly shattered into light and she swept the shards away with a hand.
“Pretend you didn’t see that.”
“What was that thing?”
“You didn’t see anything.”
“Give me something and maybe I didn’t.”
“You are an idiot, but you’re also very honest!”
I was back to her original assessment of me.
“Okay, this is the library, so I will give you some knowledge.”
“Um, then how about you start with your and Scareko-senpai’s measurements?”
“You do not get to choose.”
Oh, I see. Well, I was the underclassman, so I accepted the established hierarchy.
“There are those members of your club – and some others too – but your ultimate allies are us, the Shinto ones.”
I was confused, but this was a place of knowledge and it made sense it was a hard place to be an idiot. However…
“What does that mean?”
“Simply put, we and they are very, very interested in your progress.”
“We cannot walk the same path as you.”
I thought for a bit and then raised my right hand. I looked to the books on the counter.
“But I’m a complete amateur who loves big boobs.”
“That you are.”
Scareko-senpai gave us some unbelievable side-eye when the Library Committee Head said that, but I decided to pay it no heed.
The Library Committee Head also ignored it.
“Well, you should come to understand this in time. They will help you, but be careful. Raidou and his group will be kind to you, but there are others. And they have their position to think about. So your ultimate allies will be us Shinto gods since we belong to the same classification or jurisdiction as you.”
“What difference does it make to have a weakling and an amateur like me around?”
“As a weakling and an amateur, what difference do you see when you look up at an almighty character?”
“Well, you can do completely different things.”
“That is correct.”
She smiled as she said that.
“You might be an honest idiot with an unfortunate love of big boobs, but you’re thinking about this in the right way. I’m sure Kido will be happy. I expect you will want to head to that world tonight after reading through those books some, but I am sure you will remember what I’ve said once you are there.”
“What do you mean?”
“When someone can do so much more than you, what thoughts come to mind and what are we to do?”
When she said “now, then” and snapped her fingers, Scareko-senpai returned my library card.
I took the books and remembered how hot it was outside. I was worried I would get them damp with sweat. I needed to stay calm. Wait, wrong kind of sweat. And…
As I started toward the door, the Library Committee Head called out to me and I spun around.
“What is it!? Do you want to marry me!? Oh, but I can’t! You’re not quite big enough! Or does your uniform suppress their size!?”
“You might be an honest idiot with an unfortunate love of big boobs who thinks about things in the right way, but you really are an idiot.”
“Yup, that’s me! Right back to the beginning, are we!? Thank you very much! Anyway, what do you want?”
“Well,” she began.
“The partner you chose is Shinto, but also the most powerful out of all the legends. You made a good choice there. I grant you that knowledge as a sort of curse.”
“Um, uh, I don’t really remember choosing them…”
“Do not let it bother you. That has already been decided, so just focus on what is to come. You are an idiot, after all.”
Hearing that was kind of nice. I mean, I knew I was an idiot and her being an upperclassman and the Library Committee Head hit me just right. So…
“Thank you very much! I feel like we really hit it off well!”
I left after that.
“Omokane-san…you should be more careful.”
After the boy left, Omokane heard Scarecrow speak up once from her chair.
The ferrets on her shoulders dropped to the floor and climbed up onto the counter. One spun around to get a look at Scarecrow and the other sniffed at the spot where the boy had set down his books.
Omokane thought about what Scarecrow had meant.
She opened a Revelation Board by her hands, which made Scarecrow gasp.
“We were instructed not to let Sumeragi-kun see that until he understands the system.”
“I love that the instructions were sent via Revelation Board.”
“If he questions it, we just have to tell him it’s secret new experimental tech for the New Cult industry. At the moment, it’s not even a lie.”
“Well, yes, that might be true.”
“So let’s just go with that.”
Omokane circled to the front of the counter. The two ferrets followed her with their eyes as she stopped with the deserted library behind her.
“He is a good boy.”
Since Scarecrow agreed, Omokane knew her assessment was the truth. Because…
“He noticed your cane, but when you used the armrests and counter to stand up, he didn’t try to help you unnecessarily. But he did take a half step to the side.”
“I had my left hand on the counter, so he stood in front of my empty right hand.”
“And what does that mean?”
Scarecrow nodded and answered her testing question.
“He didn’t assume my disability makes me helpless, but he also gave me the room I needed to work in.”
“That is correct.”
Omokane expressed her exasperation.
“He really is a stupid boy, but he seems to view us as equals. If that is his starting point, then I wonder what he will do once he has to look up at us.”
“Ohhh, this is way harder than I thought.”
I flipped through one of the books and started to get an idea what terraforming – or the New Cult space industry – was all about.
The scene I half-remembered was a sea of lava.
If that field was representative of the entire planet, then the entire planet was burning. Or just really hot.
In that case what did we need to do?
- Cool it down.
But that didn’t seem quite right.
Yes, that was more of a means than an end. Right, you didn’t look through lewd images because you were trying to do something lewd; you found yourself in a lewd mood because you were looking through lewd images! Wait, no. That works both ways. What was my point again? Was I just wrong? Was that it? Huh!?
I needed to calm down.
I definitely had a point here. Yes, a great point. Namely, that I was only looking at the immediate situation.
It was like taking medicine after you caught cold, screwing up conversations because you’re an idiot, or getting turned on by looking at lewd images. But…
“Terraforming is about creating a livable environment.”
I had to keep that final objective in mind.
“You need a specific goal in mind! Like wanting to do lewd things with lewd images featuring big boobs!”
It was so simple! I made sure to bow toward the adjacent room.
That about summed it up. Even if you could alter the atmosphere to deal with the immediate issues, it might not end up being livable.
So what were you supposed to do?
It thought about it, but…
“Eh, this is good enough.”
I had only skimmed through one illustrated textbook, but I had absorbed its knowledge. So…
“I can think about this more once out on the field.”
Once there, I needed to think about what I could and couldn’t do and about what was necessary.
That would be my starting point. So…
Why had I died again? I kind of remembered something annoying happening, but I was also curious about what the Library Committee Head had said.
The god I had chosen was supposedly the most powerful.
That was a relief.
The sun was setting and I had locked the door to my room. The window had a screen and I could hear the cicada cries from outside, but that was fine.
My game glasses were fully charged, so…
“Let the games begin.”
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