Ridiculously Idealized Library of Ruina - Chapter 1 - weird_shipper341 (2024)

Chapter Text

“Yeahhhhh, no. You must be getting more senile than I thought if you think I’m going to be taking you up on that.”

In a moderately-sized, four-room apartment, deep in a relatively un-Syndicate-controlled area within the backstreets of District Seven, a man, dressed in a black suit with a white button-up shirt and a black tie, sat on one side of a tidied couch. It was a well-kept apartment, the small living area he was in being a bit small but still very much livable for two people.

On the other side of the living room, next to an unused fireplace, a woman with long, shiny, silvery hair and sky blue eyes gently rocked a wooden crib back and forth, crooning quietly. From within that crib, tiny hands could be seen sticking out, reaching for her. Smiling, the woman held out a finger towards the tiny hands. Toys littered the floor around the crib.

“Awww, why not? You two used to take on waaaaaaaay worse cases than these back in your haydays. Heck, if you’re so worried about your wife, you can go take it on yourself! A mere Uban Nightmare should be nothing for a former Charles Office and pseudo-Color-ranked Fixer such as yourself…”

Sitting on the other side of the couch the man was on was another, older-looking woman with long, silky black hair held up by a hairband. Her eyes were strikingly amethyst, and just as purple was her suit. Her various swords were set on the coffee table in front of the couch, a show of goodwill.

“Yeah, back in my hayday,” Roland, former Charles Office Fixer and, currently, an independent, Grade One Fixer. “Urban Nightmares are more than enough to pay the bills and put food on the table. There’s no need for me to risk something that’s practically a Star of the City threat. Not like my wife would let me even if I wanted to.”

“Didn’t we already tell you that we’d stop taking on Star of the City level threats, gran-gran?” Angelica, the retired Color-ranked Fixer formerly known as the Black Silence, now just an average Grade One Fixer. “Multiple times?”

“Now now, no need for that attitude,” the other woman, Iori, a color-ranked Fixer currently known as the Purple Tear, said. “I’m not so old as to forget after the first thirteen times. I wouldn’t have come to you if I didn’t think it was serious enough to do so! Besides, it’s just an Urban Nightmare! Should be just a piece of cake for you”

Roland scoffed.

“You’re telling me that you couldn’t find a single other person for something that’s ‘just an Urban Nightmare’,” he said. “Besides, Urban Nightmare my ass! You’re expecting me to believe that something that’s ‘just an Urban Nightmare’ could make the likes of the multiple different fairly powerful Urban Nightmare syndicates, Sections 1 and 2 of the Liu and Shi Associations, and multiple squads of W Corp employees just disappear in the span of a week. I heard that their prized agent, the one that could rip through the fabric of space itself supposedly…what was her name again?”

“Rose,” Angelica said.

“Right, Rose,” Roland said. “I heard she was part of one of those squads. I dunno why the Hana haven’t promoted it to a Star of the City level threat yet.”

“Well, to be fair, the Liu Association had been in huge decline ever since their Section 1 and 2 directors retired early,” Iori said. “The new ones that rose to the position were less than no good. Honestly, it’s not much of a surprise that it had fallen off so badly. The Shi are pretty good, but they specialize in stealthy assassinations and aren’t all that great in open combat. The Hana are probably not gonna promote the Library until it takes down someone really, really important…”

“Still, I’m not quite up for something of that caliber,” Roland says. “It’s been more than a year since we retired. I’ve got a wife and kid to take care of now. It’s no longer worth gambling my life for something like this. And what’s stoppin’ you from going yourself? Or getting someone else to do it for you?”

“I’m a busy woman, Roland. But alas, should’ve known you would’ve said something like that,” Iori said with a sigh, an expression of faux sadness on her face. Roland squinted at her. “I was the same way before I lost my son forty years ago after all. Okay, how about this?”

Iori twirled the sheet of cardstock in her hand around. It was almost entirely black, save for an elaborate, golden border and an insignia Roland didn’t recognize.

“I’ll help you pay back the massive debt you suddenly owe to K Corp for bulk-purchasing over half of their total moonstone supply.”

Both Roland and Angelica simultaneously raised an eyebrow at that, unbeknownst to both. Iori chuckled slightly at that.

“The hell?” Roland said. “I didn’t buy anything from K Corp. Why the f*ck would I be-?”

“When was the last time you checked your bank account?”

Roland’s eyebrow raised slightly higher at that. Still looking at the Purple Tear, he took his phone out of his pocket. He fiddled with it for a moment.

Then his eyes widened to the size of dinner plates. If they grew any larger, they’d pop out of his eye sockets.

“What the f*ck?!” Roland exclaimed. “Gran, why is there a purchase of over 400 million ahn worth of moonstone in my transaction history?!”

Angelica just stared at Roland for a moment. Then, with speed that would’ve made an active Color jealous, she went over to Roland’s side. Her eyes also widened at the contents on the screen of his phone.

“How did you even access my bank account?!” Roland shouted. The baby in the crib nearby began to bawl, causing Angelica to run back and comfort it.

“Your password was too easy to predict,” Iori said. “‘AngeLovesPajeon’? Seriously? Could’ve at least put a number or an asterisk or something. I thought I taught you better than that.”

Roland just sighed as Angelica rolled her eyes. They were both aware of his lack of creativity when it came to mundane things such as this. He just didn’t think it’d come to bite him in the ass like this. He thought he’d get hacked or something, not for somebody to outright predict what his password would be.

Though to be fair, there were only a few people who knew him well enough to do that. And two of them knew they could’ve just asked him for it…

“Welp! Now that you know the gravity of the situation, I’ll be taking my leave now!” she said. “I’ll keep my deal up for as long as it takes you to come up with a decision.”

She lowers the glowing cardstock in her fingers, setting it gently onto the coffee table, face up. Roland stared at it, the words clearly outlined into the cardstock.

Dear guest,

I formally invite you to the Library. The library’s books can provide you with all the wisdom, wealth, honor, and power you seek. However, an ordeal will await you. If you cannot overcome this ordeal, you will become part of the Library yourself.


Roland should’ve known. The Distortion phenomenon was becoming a pain in the ass for basically everyone in the City, from Syndicates to even the Corporations. He heard of the horrific things that people who “distorted” did, turning into monsters and causing massive amounts of destruction wherever they appeared. The Hana Association had become more attentive of it, at least somewhat reducing the damage “distortions” did, but they were still usually very destructive.

Especially the first ever recorded Distortion that appeared in District Nine. It still shook him to this very day that over three hundred thousand lives could be lost in just an instant. They were so very lucky that the two of them decided to move to District Seven the day before that incident…

He didn’t really know what Iori was up to (nor did he really care), but it was entirely in character for her to want to know more about it. He didn’t know why she’d also want a book about L Corp though. He couldn’t comprehend why she wanted anything to do with it.

“No need to tell me if you ever decide to take the job,” the Color said. “Just sign it and you’ll be good to go! Once you’ve got the books, gimme a holler and I’ll be right over to help make that debt disappear!”

“Now hold on!” Roland shouted, his features scrunching up in anger. He stood up, reaching for his sword, Durendal. “You don’t think I’ll just let you go after-!”


With a flash of purple light, the Purple Tear disappeared from her spot on the couch as if she were never there in the first place. Even her swords phased away from their spot on the coffee table.

Roland just stared at the spot on the couch Iori was sitting on, still standing with his hand on Durendal’s hilt. Then, with a sigh, he removed his hand from his sword’s hilt, slumping back onto the couch with a sigh. He just sat there, his head in one hand as he thought over the situation.

After his worried wife managed to get their child to quiet down, she also went over to the couch, wrapping her arms around Roland in a worried manner. The sudden news had hit her hard as well, but considering that Roland was the one who usually brought the financial matters onto himself, she could understand the conflict he was in.

The two just stayed there in the silent living room. Even the baby in the nearby crib was silent, as if not daring to break the silence with its crying.

Eventually, Roland sighed again. He brought his hands back down from his head.

“Hey, Ange…”

Angelica just sighed. She knew him well enough to know what he was about to ask for. It was pretty much the only thing she knew he could possibly do.

“I’ll make an exception this one time,” she said with a gentle smile.

Roland just smiled back at her. The two shared a quick kiss.

“Guess I’ll go get ready then.”

“You have everything? Your weapons, your mask…”

“Yeah. Had Durendal resharpened yesterday, made sure all my augments were up and running well, got my mask in case I needed it…”

It was early in the morning of the next day. The sun was just barely peeking over the horizon of the District 7 neighborhood, the barest amounts of sunlight shining in through the windows of their shared apartment. So early that their baby had yet to awaken.

Having spent a good portion of the rest of the previous day making preparations, he felt more ready than ever. He even got some nuovo fabric laced into his suit. A bit more tankiness could come a long way when it came to survival.

Well-rested and energized, Roland felt ready to take on the upcoming ordeal.

“Are you absolutely sure you don’t need me to come with you?” Angelica asked. Worry was apparent on both her face and in her tone.

“No, someone needs to stay to take care of the baby,” Roland said.

“Well, I can call in Olivier to babysit her for a while…”

“As if he’ll have the time to. He’s part of the Hana Association now, remember? He’ll just leave her at his desk all day or something. Plus, he’s terrible with children. I don’t want our daughter to be neglected when we’re gone.”

Angelica just sighed, brushing her silvery hair from her eyes.

“Look, Ange, I’ll be completely fine,” Roland assured, gripping her shoulders gently. “I may be a washed up Grade One Fixer, but ain’t no Urban Nightmare that’ll be enough to put me down.”

“Well, if you say so, mister…”

Roland leaned down to press one more kiss to his wife’s lips. The silver-haired woman looped her arms around his neck, deepening the kiss, sighing as Roland ran his hands through her long, silvery hair.

The two stayed like that for a minute more before they parted. They stared into each other’s eyes for a moment, before Roland drew her in for one more hug.

“Alright then,” he said when he finally removed his arms from around her. He flashed her his signature smug smile. “I’ll be off then.”

“Be back soon.”

“Of course.”

With that, Roland walked to the coffee table in their living room. He picked up the small sheet of black cardstock sitting there, his eyes skimming through the message on the front of it. Now that he thought about it a bit more, he should’ve asked Iori how it worked, but he was too caught up in the heat of the moment. Was all he really needed to do was sign the card? City technology nowadays was pretty advanced, but also hella shifty. Well, one way or another, there had to be a way for the supposed Library to know that he had signed the invitation, right?

He grabbed a pen sitting in a nearby cup, sitting down on the sofa behind the table. Then he quickly scribbled his signature onto the empty line at the bottom of the invitation. He lifted his pen, staring at it expectantly.

For a moment, nothing happened. Roland and Angelica just eyed the invitation silently.

“Well, guess that was anticlimactic,” Roland said after a couple of minutes. “Honestly not sure what I was expecting. Maybe in a day or two, someone will-”

At that exact moment, Roland suddenly disappeared. The only thing that indicated his sudden disappearance was a quiet, almost-inaudible whoosh.

Angelica’s eyes widened.

“What the-, Roland!”

Her head whipped around before her eyes fell to the coffee table. The invitation that Roland had just signed, which they left on it the night before, was also gone without a trace. Even the pen that Roland used to sign the card was completely gone.

It took her a moment, but her panic-frazzled mind managed to connect the dots.

“Teleportation, huh?” she said. “Man, that’s some Wing singularity-level sh*t.”

She stared at the sofa for a moment. Then turned to the closed door of the small bedroom that she, her husband, and their child shared.

Her attention had nothing to do with the door, nor the room itself, however. It was on the bedchamber inside of it.

Where a pair of black gloves collected dust deep inside, untouched and neglected for the good portion of a whole year.

“Whoa! Teleportation. Man, that’s some Wing singularity-level sh*t…”

Roland took a moment to regain his bearings, a tad bit dizzy from the sudden change in location. It only took him a second to regain his bearings, however. Once he did, he took a moment to take a look around.

He was in a wide chamber with a kind of woody, antique vibe to it. All around him were shelves, filled completely with colorful books. Lamps here and there illuminated it with a gentle, warm light. In front of him was a hallway, leading into a bright, glowing doorway.

“So this is the Library, huh?” Roland muttered to himself, taking in the new environment. “This is a pretty nice-looking place. Also seems pretty cozy. Ange would’ve loved a place like this…”

A loud snapping sound broke him out of his stupor. His whole body immediately tensed, his hand going right to the hilt of Durendal at his hip as he turned to the figure that had suddenly just appeared in front of him.

What the hell?! When did she get there?!

The figure was that of a seemingly normal woman, dressed in a frilly, indigo outfit and a black and white cravat. She had long, neatly-kept light blue hair that flowed down her back and bright, strikingly sharp honey gold eyes.

She seemed completely normal, save for her…unusual hair and eye colors (though dye and lens could easily be pointed out as the source of those). However, Roland couldn’t quite shake off the feeling that there was something off about her. He couldn’t quite make out what it was.

His hand slowly went to the hilt of his sword. He knew that the motion seemed obviously hostile, but he wasn’t going to take chances with unknowns. Especially when it came to people.

“Greetings, dear guest,” the woman said, paying no heed to the motion. Her eyes didn’t even go to the sword sheathed at his hip. “I am Angela, the director and chief patron librarian of the Library.”

“...hello,” was all Roland said. He had to admit that he was slightly caught off-guard for a moment by the politeness. However, that only made him even more tense.

After all, in the city, almost all polite people were lunatics.

The two stood there in silence. The woman just stared at him with a blank, or extremely unreadable, look in her eyes as Roland stared back. His knees still bent slightly and his hand still on the hilt of his sword. It was as if they were both expecting the other to say something.

Finally, the woman, Angela, sighed, her eyebrows scrunching ever so slightly before fixing themselves.

“There is no need to be so tense,” she said. “I will not be the one who you will be fighting today. I advise you to save your energy for your actual enemies.”

“Never hurts to be a bit cautious,” Roland said, his stance not changing in the slightest.

Angela just sighed.

“It wouldn’t be courteous to leave you so high-strung, so I will let you proceed. I wish you the best of luck in your ordeal.”

With that, the woman snapped her fingers. With a flash of golden light, she disappeared.

Slightly startled, Roland slightly lifted his hand away from Durendal’s hilt.

“That teleportation again, huh?” he said.

Finally, he relaxed his stance. He took one more look around.

“Guess the only way’s forward, huh?”

The Fixer walked on, into the glowing doorway.

Ridiculously Idealized Library of Ruina - Chapter 1 - weird_shipper341 (2024)
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