Picking up for a drink she did.
Of course ,the library did not only house thousands of books and documents, but also a few dozen scholars. That in turn meant that the library also had to provide them with meals and beverages.
Jeanne led Babylonia outside. The two had exchanged pleasantries by then and knew each other’s names.
Some of the buildings surrounding the Citadel were small restaurants. Each of them served cuisine from a different part of the world, ensuring everyone felt at home visiting the library. Some of them also featured take-away windows for those who were in a hurry to get back to work. Although it was frowned upon to bring any beverages near the often very rare documents.
“So, what could possibly bring a vampire to the hot desert?” Jeanne asked Babylonia as she brought her a cup of hot bean tea. The beverage wasn’t common in the kingdom, as the climate did not allow the beans to grow there. Importing them from the desert was also too expensive for anyone to seriously consider. Though the rich elite occasionally boasted their wealth by offering some of it to their guests. The king, however, would like to see that money be invested in arms rather than beans.
Babylonia sat at a table in the shadow of the building, crossing her legs. The book she had dropped on Jeanne earlier lay on the table. It was a thick tome with a noticeable imprint on its leather cover.
The vampire patted the book in response to the witch’s question.
“Books of course.”
“For your own enjoyment or are you the designated gopher?”
“Both. I needed to fetch some books for my master, but since I’m already here, why wouldn’t I also look at some books for myself?”
“Hah, a fellow woman of culture, I see.”
Babylonia chuckled at that comment.
“So, what interests you?” Jeanne asked. “I always look for some new recipes to try out ...”
“A witch and a cook. Interesting.” She took a sip from her beverage. “Well, I am rather interested in learning about other cultures.”
“Huh, consider me surprised. I thought vampires didn’t really mesh with ... anyone other than their own kind.”
“That’s true. Considering we need to avoid the sun and drink blood ... Anyway, having visited the library a few times got me interested. I mean, all that knowledge ... and the different foods!”
“I get it!” Jeanne agreed. “Food truly is a gateway to different cultures.”
“Sadly, I never get to visit parts of the world outside the library. And I don’t think that’ll happen any time soon.”
Babylonia looked down at the contents of her cup. She did not need to elaborate for Jeanne to understand.
“Well, what is that book you got here?” Jeanne tried changing topics, referring to the tome laying in between them.
Babylonia perked up. “Oh, I don’t know actually. I just took it with me by accident.” She stuttered the last couple of words, her pale complexion turning rose.
Jeanne smiled at her quizzically.
She reached out for the book, and with just the tips of her finger dragged it towards her.
“We should put that book back where it came from then,” Jeanne suggested.
“Right!” Babylonia exclaimed.
Jeanne put her cup on the table and grabbed the book with both of her hands. She flipped it around, seeing if it was anything of interest for her.
Babylonia leaned forward to have a look as well.
Jeanne traced the imprints on the cover before deciding to open it up.
A shiver went down her spine and she dropped the book back on the table. The imprint started glowing blue all of a sudden.
Glowing books were never a good thing.
Jeanne did not get a good look at the contents as a bright light emanated from the inside and a low rumbling echoed through the entire library.
Muffled shouts from scholars and workers all around followed the rumbling.
“What is that?” Jeanne asked, while shielding her eyes from dust and sand being blown around.
“Oh no,” Babylonia exclaimed. “That was a tome of spells!” She pointed at the book on the table. “It must have drained some of your magic to activate! You must be insanely powerful for this to be possible.”
“Well, I am a witch. Magic is kind of my thing!”
Jeanne shouted over the sound of chairs and tables clattering and falling over.
Cracks formed on the floor with the tome at their center. They spread around until the point they reached exactly two meters from the book. Then they would go on to fuse together, forming a perfect circle around the book, with Jeanne and Babylonia inside.
When they noticed this, it was already too late.
The floor below them broke down and they disappeared into a dark, dark hole.