XiaXin bounced to her hum. “It’s here! It’s here!” raising her head, her eyes sparkled as she looked up at the glorious, dark-oak double door left wide open. A large book emblem could be seen engraved at the apex of the gate. It was a vortex welcoming enough to suck her soul out. The castle library.
“XiaXin’s a knowledge addict? This is the first time I’ve seen you like this..| NiNa glanced at the library, then at XiaXin who was clearly shivering in enthusiasm. She was peeking from behind XIaXin’s breast pocket, her hands clenched at the hem. A golden-pink light surrounded her, though it was all that noticeable through the fabric of XiaXin’s blouse. Yup, nobody would find it suspicious at all.
Pixies had the ability to change the light emanating from their body at will. Different colours represent different emotions, though, it wasn’t true for all cases. Some pixies chose to not change colours at all, expressing emotion solely through their tone and body language.
|Shh, I haven't secured a spot yet, be careful not to be found out,| XiaXin stroke NiNa’s head with her finger, NiNa shrunk her head.
|Hehehe, roger that,| She buried herself inside the pocket, suppressing the light around her
XiaXin entered with gallant steps, her chest puffed out.
In the library, there were a good number of students and teachers present. These students looked as though they were from noble families or any family with a certain level of status.
The castle library was enormous, adorned with bookshelves that extended multiple stories high, akin to separating walls, towering to the top of theceiling. This looked like a miniature version of the Tree of Knowledge, or the Annex of Shun Federation. Similarly, most of the interior components were made out of varnished wood. It possessed a beautiful hue, though it wasn’t as nice as the library in Shun Federation.
Polished white-brown granite covered the floors, some sections extending upwards to form a somewhat square pillar.
Opposite of the entrance where a plan wall stood, French windows decorated the surface, allowing light to pour in.
The library had a book index close to the entrance, and also a librarian who greeted XiaXin with a warm smile.
“Do you mind if I ask where the educational material section is?” XiaXin’s scanned the library. At a glance, there were at least 5 routes she could take.
“Educational material?” The librarian sounded a little puzzled.
XiaXin nodded her head, “The section where any scientific information or magic material can be found.”
The librarian got up from his seat and stretched his hands all the way to the back. The librarian then guided XiaXin over to the leftmost passage, “This way.”
The internal structure of the library was like a complex maze, though not as bad as the library at Shun Federation. That said, the architects that built this put in tremendous effort. Many open windows hung on the upper floors, numerous mirrors attached at precise angles directed light to certain darker spots.
Magic lamps were present every few meters, though they weren’t needed in her morning.
There was a buffer region in the forest of bookshelves before it opened up once again to another hall where a group of students and teachers gathered.
“Books in this section are all related to academics,” the librarian swept his hands in the direction of the hall. “Do you have any specifics in mind?”
XiaXin pursed her lips in thought, “Is there an index here?”
“Here,” The librarian pointed at her. No, behind her, at the side of the bookshelf with a golden slate riveted into it.
“Ah, I’m blind..” XiaXin narrowed her eyes, “Thank you, if anything, I’ll come to ask for assistance again.” she bowed, “Thank you.”
The librarian, scratched the back of his head, “Sure. See you again sometime.”
XiaXin smiled as he walked away. When he finally disappeared, her smile turned to a grin.
‘She really is that kind elf..’ NiNa felt a dangerous aura radiating from her.
Elves were known to be ‘book-eaters’. By that, it meant that elves consume books, or more accurately, knowledge as if it were water.
|Now, to find a secluded place. There has to be a secret place or single-seated reading area somewhere around here...” XiaXin turned away from the hall where the crowd was. It took her a while of wandering around to finally find what she was looking for “Ah, here.”
A secluded area on the upper floor of the library. The single long table in the centre gleamed in the light, dust sparkling around. A lonely blackboard left to the side, the half-eaten chalk seen sitting at the extended metal strip below.
|NiNa, this is where we’ll sit. Now let’s go find books.|
|Alright.| NiNa gulped. She poked her head out to have a quick glance at the place. This was where she would stay for the next hour or so.
‘So human language is called English in Heaven’s Dynasty. It’s the same as in the Human Dynasty.’
XiaXin walked down the valley of bookshelves, books literally jammed into every nook possible. She took note of the tags assigned to each compartment, it conveniently divided books into a few general categories: English literature, magic studies, transcription studies, design application, carpentry, physics, biology— chemistry?
|What’s chemistry? Biology? Physics?| NiNa who now sat on XiaXin’s shoulder asked. It happened when NiNa complained that the pocket felt too stuffy.
|Nigh.. I don’t know— everything looks interesting, let’s just take them all,| XiaXin selected a book from among the many others shouting for her attention.
Introduction to Chemistry part 1.
She then placed her finger at the book’s initial location and bound the book to this spot. A small mark illuminated slightly on the shelf before fading away. That way, when she wanted to return the book, could just have them fly back into position. This practice was the norm in Elfian Kingdom; elves were inherently lazy,
|Let’s go.| XiaXin was all smiles, the tuff above her hair swaying in optimism. |Kuh, wait, I forgot, I needed some more biology books. I think it's just a different name for Nature Science back in our world. The marine creatures here aren’t the same as the ones we know back at Elfian Kingdom. It’s important I learn how they float, we’ll stop by there first.|
NiNa gulping again at XiaXin’s words. There were already at least 20 books hovering around them.
|Anything wrong?| XiaXin tilted her head to look at XiaXin. She quickly shook her head, XiaXin guessed the problem, |Heh, you’ve just never seen people grab over a hundred in one go.| XiaXin declared.
|Knowledge thirsty elves are scary,| NiNa shuddered.
XiaXin broke into laughter.
‘Oops, this is a library.’
XiaXin wondered what kind of person Ren was back in Elfian Kingdom. Did he not like reading?
Returning to their ‘secret hideout’ XiaXin started to read the books she brought. NiNa did the same, her entire figure flat against the surface of the paper. The words the size of her arm. Soon, drowsiness came upon her and she entered the land of dreams halfway through the first page, her hands still supporting her head.
Compared to Elfian Dynasty, the knowledge found here was less descriptive. However, it contained a plethora of information that she had never seen before. It was like looking at the world through a different telescope at a different location. Same but different.
In Elfian Dynasty, there were three kinds of science: natural science, nature science and alchemy. In Heaven’s Dynasty, XiaXin guessed that they were: physics, biology and chemistry.
Chemistry the most interesting subject, obviously because it was the closest to improving magic comprehension. Alchemy was the combination of science and magic concerning the effects towards an object. While chemistry was the pure study of this thing called ‘matter’. Purely physical without the use of magic. Even if magic was used, all it did was to speed up the process of certain experiments. They were correlated, complementing each other despite the vast difference in contents. The yin and yang, of magic.
‘They actually have such a deep understanding of particle theory!’
With haste, XiaXin took to the magic textbooks. She thought the magic here could potentially be more comprehensive—
“What the..” her eyes dazzled. She was neither right nor wrong, “Note system? It’s so… waa, it’s a lot more accurate in this way, isn’t it? An extra layer on top of the current method the elves use. It’s a revolution! A revolution! ” she cheered.
NiNa awoke when her hands slipped. She looked at the self-conceit XiaXin while flinging her legs around with a yawn.
Particle theory, note system. Though having possessed knowledge of these two groundbreaking concepts, the use and application of it in Heaven's Dynsaty turned out to be rather disappointing. The comprehension was nowhere near as absolute as Elfian KIngdom, which despite having a lower level of understanding, could come up with methods that broke limitations. If the elves learnt about this, XiaXin thought they could turn the war around. Even better, change the entire civilization! No, though she should think about that now— a new life was upon her.
Many spells found in Heaven’s dynasty were stupidly simple ones. A fireball spell, for some reason, could have numerous variation. In Elfian Dynasty, a fireball was a fireball. Usually, one could create many variations of it, but it would depend on intuition on the mage’s part. However, by using the note system, one could accurately recreate a specific kind of fireball. Using the Elfian magic system was like creating random snowflakes; using the note system was like editing a snowflake.
Although the magic system in Heaven’s Dynasty was more diverse, the cruder Elfian magic system had somehow achieved better spell acquisition. This made XiaXin wonder. How come, in a world that existed a system capable of creating even more articulate magic, people practised a lower standard of it?
Simply speaking, it’s like playing better music using a range-limited harpsichord than an 88 key piano.
‘Wait, it’s similar to music. Ren plays the cello, maybe that’s why he’s extremely deft at wind magic!’
XiaXin blinked a few times.
‘This is knowledge! Really, really new knowledge!’
Now laying with her body upside down on a book, NiNa observed as XiaXin’s drool was about to stain the book.
|They say there are four main stages to an elf’s knowledge addiction— whatever that means,| NiNa muttered with a sigh.
“Excuse me,” then a male voice called out.