I wanted to do this chapter for quite some time, but it had to be put in at just the right moment. I feel that this is the right moment, so I hope you all enjoy!
December 31, X790
At the Phoenix Dawn guild hall, everyone was celebrating the arrival of the coming year with many of the older members drinking kegs worth of ale. At one of the other tables, Jason was just sitting by himself looking over several job requests he lied out in front of him.
"Hmm…" Jason hummed. "This job seems interesting…"
"Not drinking?" Static asked as he came up to Jason.
"I should be asking you that question." Jason said.
"Alcohol doesn't affect me anymore." Static said. "You know, from all the experiments? No point in drinking when you can't even get buzzed."
"And I don't drink because I don't want the buzz." Jason said.
"What are you guys doing?" Spiral asked as he and Hikari walked up to them.
"Spiral, it's been a while since our last scuffle." Static said, cracking his knuckles. "Want to take one outside?"
"Maybe another time." Spiral replied.
"I'm looking at the current S-Class quests." Jason said. "So far, this one has caught my interest."
Jason held up a flier and Hikari read it out loud.
"You have to find an ancient library lost in the desert?" Hikari asked. "That sounds like a pretty tough job."
"It is." Jason said. "This is one of those decade quests."
"So nobody's found this library in at least ten years?" Static guessed.
"Can I take a look at the request?" Aqua asked as she came over to their table.
Hikari handed Aqua the flier and she looked it over.
"… Yeah, I had a feeling it was THAT library." Aqua said. "This quest is to find the Mythical Library of Jisig Tamguja."
"Who?" Spiral asked.
"Jisig Tamguja was a wizard who was obsessed with knowledge." Aqua said. "After Zeref became known as the black wizard, he created a library for himself in the middle of the desert and stored all of his books and tomes within its walls."
"Aren't books and tomes the exact same thing?" Jason questioned.
"However, he didn't think the rest of humanity was worthy of his knowledge." Aqua continued her story. "So he hid his library in the same desert he built it in. No one had ever seen it, but every so often he would send owls to scour the lands and collect knowledge."
"I didn't think you were such an avid book fan." Hikari said.
"I absolutely love reading books!" Aqua said. "The chance to visit Jisig Tamguja's library would be a dream come true! Can I come with you?"
"I guess the five of us are a team on this one." Jason said. "We'll head out tomorrow after the morning New Year celebrations."
"W-wait, you mean me, too?" Static asked. "At what point did I say that I wanted to come along?"
January 4, X791
Jason, Spiral, Hikari, Static and Aqua were standing in the middle of the desert, the intense and harsh sunlight beating down on them.
"Spiral, do you think you can use your Sound Magic to find the library?" Jason asked.
"Sorry, but sand is too unstable for me to sense any vibrations." Spiral answered. "I'm afraid I can only feel as far as a few feet."
"Great, how else are we going to find this lost library?" Static asked, somewhat irritated.
"Maybe we should wait until night." Aqua suggested.
"Why?" Jason asked.
"Remember what I said about his owls?" Aqua asked. "We can follow one of them to the library."
"Well, it's better than nothing." Spiral said.
Back at the guild hall, Sakura was looking around while Flora was just nibbling on a fish.
"… Where the heck is everyone?!" Sakura exclaimed.
"… We're here." Heart said, raising her hand up.
Night came and the scorching hot desert became freezing cold as Jason, Hikari and Aqua were shivering.
"W-wh-who kn-knew d-d-d-deserts c-c-c-c-could g-get so c-c-cold?" Aqua asked, rapidly rubbing her arms rapidly to keep herself warm.
Hikari was doing the same thing, but she scooted toward Spiral.
"Spiral, how about we cuddle to keep ourselves warm?" Hikari asked as she huddled up next to Spiral. "Mmmm, you feel so nice."
Aqua looked at Jason, getting the same idea as Hikari, and was about to scoot toward Jason.
"Look!" Jason said, pointing up into the sky.
In the starry night sky they saw the shadow of a bird flying. Upon closer inspection, that bird was an owl carrying a scroll.
"That must be one of… crap, what's-his-name's owls!" Jason shouted. "Let's follow it!"
As everyone else got up, Aqua groaned from her failed attempt to flirt with Jason and got up and walked with them.
They continued following the owl until they saw it fly into small structure that looked like a well.
"This must be it." Jason said. "Why else would it fly in there?"
Spiral placed his hand on the well and used his magic to make sure Jason's theory was right.
'You're right, Jason." Spiral said. "There's more to this structure… a lot more."
"One of us has to stay behind and help the others get in and out." Static said.
"It might as well be me." Spiral said. "Only Aqua and I can make an entrance for you guys and she really wants to see this, so…"
Spiral used his Never-Melt Magic to create an ice ladder down the well.
"Just holler in case you need any help." Spiral said.
Hikari, Aqua, Jason and Static all climbed down the ice ladder until they reached a floor where they saw millions of books all stacked neatly on many different shelves.
"Wow…" Aqua marveled at the sight of books with sparkles in her eyes. "I'm actually in the Mythical Library of Jisig Tamguja…"
"How come you're the only one who can remember that name?" Jason asked.
"I think it's because no one else cares." Static said.
"Anyway, the client wanted to know us to obtain a certain book that was taken by one of the owls." Jason said. "It might take a while for us to find it."
"I'm cool with that." Aqua said as she was already sitting down next to a shelf, reading a book and several more lied out in front of her.
The others walked around the library and were checking all of the shelves in search of the book the client requested them to reacquire. Hikari found herself looking at the binding of one book and taking it off the shelf.
"Hm? Enlightenment to a Satisfying Sex Life…" Hikari mumbled the title to herself as she opened it up.
As she continued reading it, her face began to blush.
"… Wow, I wonder if Spiral would be will to try these…" She said to herself.
Elsewhere, Static was simply checking each of the books and saw Jason staring at a large painting.
"Jason, what do you see?" Static asked.
Static looked at the painting and it was of a large, dark blue dragon with an elongated neck and fins on its back, elbows, tail and the back of its neck.
"That's a pretty impressive painting." Static said. "… Jason?"
Static looked at Jason who seemed to be in a trancelike state.
"… Oceari, the Water Dragon…" Jason said, still in his odd trance.
"Jason, are you okay?" Static asked again.
Jason snapped back to reality, shook his head and looked at Static.
"Sorry, did you say something?" Jason asked.
"How did you know that dragon's name?" Static asked. "There's no plaque or anything giving a name."
They both looked back at the painting and there was no indication of a title or name.
"I… I don't know." Jason said. "I just… knew it."
"… I think you're just exhausted from hunger." Static said as he walked away.
Jason looked back at the painting, stared at it for a few more minutes until he noticed that the edges were charred.
"… I wonder where the section of the library on dragons is…" Jason said to himself before leaving the area. "Maybe I can find something on Fleuressca and Albion. I'm sure Sakura and Lionel would appreciate any information I can give them."
Jason turned around to see a snowy owl looking right at him. The owl began to fly off in a particular direction.
"Wait, come back!" Jason shouted as he chased after the owl.
He followed the snowy owl to a bookcase… or what's left of it after it was burned to a crisp.
"What happened here?" Jason wondered.
The owl flew in front of Jason and looked at him straight in the eyes. It kept looking at him until Jason started to see a weird vision of some sort.
The bookshelf that was in front of Jason was restored and he could see there were many tomes about dragons. However, a man came by and took all of the books before setting the shelf on fire. Jason tried to get a closer look at the man's face and saw that he was Alexander Lexus.
The owl perched itself on the top of the burnt bookshelf as Jason had returned to reality.
"My great grandfather… did this?" Jason gasped. "Why was he here? And why was he doing research on dragons?"
"So, that man was your great grandfather…" A strange, echo-y voice spoke.
Jason's eyes widened as he turned around to see an owl-man in brown robes standing right behind him.
"Then you shall perish for your great grandfather's sins." The owl-man said.
"Who… or what are you?" Jason asked.
"I am Jisig Tamguja, owner and curator of this library." The owl-man answered. "I am tired of humans constantly sneaking their way into my library! Taking my books and destroying them like they own the place! You two aren't that different from the Guild Masters of Grimoire Heart or Silent Orochi or your great grandfather who had an obsession with dragons. Now… perish."
While Aqua was absorbed in her book, Hikari and Static arrived, each with a book in their hands.
"I found the book the client asked for." Static said.
"Well, I'm thinking about keeping this one." Hikari said.
"What is it?" Static asked.
"None of your damn business, that's what!" Hikari snapped at him.
"Geez, no need to get so aggressive." Static said.
"Hey, guys!" Spiral's voice echoed from outside the well through the help of his Sound Magic. "You might want to get out of there now!"
"Why?" Aqua asked.
"Because I can hear Jason in trouble!" Spiral answered back, still projecting his voice. "He should be coming around the corner in… about 5 seconds!"
Hikari and Static quickly ran to the ice ladder and climbed up while Aqua was trying to pack as many books into her bag as possible before following them. Just as Aqua started to climb, Jason came running from around the corner barely dodging a blast of magical energy.
"Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out!" Jason shouted at Aqua.
She hurried up the ladder and Jason stopped in front to see Jisig Tamguja approaching him slowly.
"I will not allow you to escape!" Jisig Tamguja said as he shot fire magic at Jason.
Jason shot a blast of wind to repel the flames and he started to climb up the ice ladder. Jisig Tamguja examined the ice from a distance and leered.
"I see… so this is Never-Melt Magic." Jisig Tamguja said. "Fire magic will prove ineffective…" He crossed his arms in a clock-like fashion. "Arc of Time: Reverse."
Static and Hikari managed to make it out, but just as Aqua was nearing the entrance the ice ladder vanished into thin air and she and Jason began to fall back down. They looked down to see Jisig Tamguja looking up at them and casting a magical seal in front of him.
"Crap!" Jason exclaimed. "He's about to cast an Abyss Break!"
"Jason!" Aqua said. "I have an idea! Hold onto me!"
Jason held onto Aqua as she readied an ocean blue magic circle in front of herself.
Aqua shot a massive, intense blast of water toward Jisig Tamguja which struck him down and washed him away while shooting her and Jason out of the well. The two landed outside on the soft sand as Spiral, Hikari and Static ran up to them.
"You guys okay?" Spiral asked.
"Yeah…" Jason said. "Aqua, could you get off me now, please?"
"Oh, sorry!" Aqua said, getting up with a light blush on her face. "We should head back to our client then."
Spiral then looked back and forth around him. "Okay… But which way was it?"
"… Crap." Static simply said.
A/N: The next chapter starts the next major story arc! And after that arc will be another arc where I'll introduce another OC one of you guys submitted that I've briefly forgotten about. I hope you all enjoyed the chapter! Stay tuned for next time!