Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Page 2044

((The Mon/Wen/Fri Double -- page 1 of 2))
"Oh, it said lots of other stuff," said Ibai. "Have you heard of something called the 'Breaking of Korgum?'"

Chergoa was silent a moment. 'Yes.'

"And did you know that there were tons of famous people who achieved emergence during it?"


"Like the Devil's Knife, the Man of Crows, Bloodeye, the Hammer, the Gargoyle, the Surgeon Saint. And those are just the ones still alive. There were dozens more who are dead now, like the Red Tiger, Bug Boy, Darkhand, the Owl, the Mad Piper, and so on. There were loads of 'em."

'It is a trend I am familiar with,' said Chergoa. 'And it makes a degree of sense, of course. Those prone to achieving emergence in the first place are generally not the most safety-conscious. They keep throwing themselves into dangerous situation after dangerous situation. It only makes sense that, at some point, their luck runs out. Or the ungodly level of stress gets to them, and they just snap--at which point, any reasonable reaper would release them.'

Ibai had to frown. "That's not a very pleasant way of looking at it."

'Is there a way of looking at it that IS pleasant?'

"Hmm. Maybe not. But I also imagine that their undoings might not have all been their own fault. That kind of fame would place a target on your back, no?"

'Oh, of course. Your kin have a term for that, don't they?'

Ibai nodded. "An astero."

'That's an old Arman word, isn't it? Does it have a literal translation?'

"'Star that burns with the fires of all.' And the word 'all,' in this instance, is specifically meant to include oneself."

'Bit of a mouthful, that. I can see why they wanted a term for it.'

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Page 2043

'Interesting,' said Chergoa, looking around the refectory. 'What else did it say?' Her voice had noticeably lowered. While she couldn't technically "whisper," since the radius of people who would be able to overhear her would always remain the same, she could still control her speaking volume, somewhat.

Ibai knew why, of course. The other people in the room were Gohvis' men. Members of Abolish. Ideally, she didn't want to share information with them needlessly. Chergoa might have come right and told him as much, but unfortunately, she could only speak privately with her own servant, Emiliana.

Ibai didn't know if that should be such a big concern, though. These Abolishers were quite different from the ones he'd met at Dunehall. He couldn't even tell if any of them actually wanted to leave this place. Many of them seemed perfectly content to remain in the Library with Gohvis.

He'd asked a few of them why. They'd all given some variation of the same basic sentiments.

"Because we are safe here, and it is the Master's will."

The loyalty that these people had for Gohvis was not to be underestimated, Ibai felt. Whether it was fear or adoration that motivated them, he couldn't yet tell, but whatever it was, it was strong. It seemed like some of these servants were even more loyal to Gohvis than they were to their own reapers.

But he understood Chergoa's caution, of course. Even if these people planned to stay here indefinitely, it was still a good idea to keep as much information between the two of them as they could. And given that notion, it might've been wiser to move this conversation somewhere other than the refectory, but Ibai felt like it hardly mattered, really. As far as he could tell, there was no location within the Library that could truly guarantee privacy. For all they knew, even the Library itself could've been listening to their conversation.

Technically, he also could've enveloped her with his muddy shadow to conceal her voice for her, but how suspicious would that be?

No, it was better for Chergoa to simply be careful with her words.

Ibai, however, being able to whisper, was quite happy to say whatever he wanted.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Page 2042

~((National Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day Special - page 6 of 6))~~
"Well," said Ibai after swallowing his food, "I suppose there were a few other titles that also sounded interesting, like Emergent Phenomena, The Composure of Fate's Arbiters, The Theory of Empty Worlds, and The Hypothetical Evolution of Friendship."

Chergoa needed a second to process all of those.

Ibai had more, though. "Oh, or maybe The Little Grape That Tried His Best, Kaleidoscopes for Kaleido-dopes, and Little Jimmy and the Pear-Shaped Pear."

'...That first batch sounded a little more to my tastes.'

"Hmm. Really? I also saw How to Climb the Ladder of Success by Only Cheating a Little Bit, How to Program a VCR, and Learning to Read Your Own Thoughts."

'Yeah, uh. Still prefer the first ones.'

"Oh, but you might also like--"

'Have you actually read any of these books yet?'

"I usually just skim. Reading titles is super fun, though!"


"Truthfully, I'm always a little reluctant to actually sit down and try to get into a new book," said Ibai, "because I can't tell you how many times I've ended up disappointed. I see a title that sounds super neato-burrito, only for it to get boring really quickly. It's super unfortunate when that happens."

The reaper paused. 'And how often DOES that happen for you, exactly?'

"Oh, I don't know, maybe ninety-three percent of the time or so."

'I see...'

"Hmm. You think that's too much?"

'Maybe a tad, yeah.'

Ibai resumed eating.

'Well, I don't suppose you happened to skim through any of those first books you mentioned, did you?'

He thought back. "Emergent Phenomena by Roberto del Otoya. That one talked about famous historical instances of emergence among servants. Apparently, it's a bit of a bad omen when lots of people find out you've achieved emergence, because in many of those cases, the servant and reaper pairing were either killed a few years thereafter or otherwise ended their relationship for some reason."