Chapter 19 – I Haven’t Forgotten (2)
After waving goodbye, Louise rushed to the lecture hall. When she arrived she saw the list posted on the bulletin board just as Claire said.
A Historian’s Library, by Peter Clark.
Time of Records, by Ora Willy.
Thank goodness. She had wondered if she didn’t know either book, but she had read A Historian’s Library in her father’s study.
‘I should go to the library and borrow them quickly.’
Louise headed straight for the library. Rental wars usually took place around this time. It wasn’t a big issue if she couldn’t get her hands on a copy, since students would coordinate and share books with each other, but it was much more inconvenient. Louise preferred to have the books safely and neatly in her care.
As soon as she entered the library she headed straight to the history section and found the last available copy of A Historian’s Library. Now she had to get Time of Records. She was sure she had seen the book yesterday, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t find it.
Louise gave up trying to find the book by herself, and she could not afford to wander leisurely around the shelves to find it. She strode towards the librarian’s desk.
There was a welcoming face there.
Stella. She recognized Louise at once and hurried out.
“Are you okay? I was worried because I heard you were seriously hurt…”
“Really? You couldn’t even get up yesterday!”
“I was treated.”
Louise swung her arm in a wide arc to show Stella she was okay.
“I was really worried.”
Stella clasped her hands together like a prayer, and Louise was moved by her genuine concern. Louise was deeply relieved that she wasn’t the “bad Louise.”
“Come to think of it, I didn’t even introduce myself yet. As you already know…I’m Stella Lapis.”
She bowed in greeting with an enchanting sweep of her hair, and Louise smiled, taken by her beauty. The heroine simply radiated. Louise was sure it was because of Stella’s pure nature.
“I’m Louise Sweeney.”
“We can talk to each other more casually if you want.”
“That’s okay. I feel safer talking like this.”
“Yes, in many ways. “
It was easier to insist that the people around her–especially Stella–not to address her too comfortably. She wanted to be careful not to wake up the villainous Louise who may be asleep inside.
Louise smiled awkwardly as she hugged A Historian’s Library to her chest.
“Do you happen to know where I can find Time of Records?”
“By Ora Willy?”
“Is it for a class?”
“Yes, it’s a book assigned by Professor Herman Hewitt. I have to read it by next week.”
“I have been lending copies of it out since this morning, so I thought it might be. If it’s not in the history section then they’re all probably out on loan.”
All of them? Louise wanted to cry. Stella took a look at the library files.
“There are five books checked out in total, with four going out just this morning.”
That meant everyone in the class except Louise borrowed the book.
“Do you know when the other copy will be returned?”
“Well, maybe sometime next week,”
she answered uncertainly. Louise’s expression became even darker. Of course it had to be the book she hadn’t read.
“Can you tell me who borrowed the first copy?”
“I’m sorry. I can’t tell you even if you saved my life. The library checkout list is confidential.”
Louise sighed heavily. She had no choice but to ask Ian to share his copy, which she had no desire of doing.
“I’ll borrow only this today, then.”
Louise presented the book, and Stella deftly took out a loan card and started writing down the information. As Louise looked at Stella’s neat handwriting, she mumbled to herself.
“I hope that Time of Records isn’t too hard to read. I don’t think I’ll get the chance to take it easy before class.”
“…Time of Records?”
Another voice suddenly came from behind Louise. It’s soft and calming tone stirred up old memories and Louise lifted her head up, coming face to face with a young man staring down at her.
The first thing she saw was the young man’s unusual expression. Calm, reserved eyes. Black hair as dark as the night sky that fell around his eyes. Louise greeted him with a smile.
“…Long time no see.”
Though commonly addressed as My Lord, Louise boldly left out his title because of the rules of the Academy.
He slowly said her name, enunciating every syllable, as if to say, “I haven’t forgotten.”