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Most of the books he ended up keeping in London were the ones he needed to consult on a regular basis, the ones that insulted France a lot, or the ones that were magical.
Halfway through a shelf of books, between the real edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and his highly controversial Second Edition of the Buggre Alle This Bible, was a book. Granted, there were plenty of books, but Arthur was pretty sure he'd never seen this one before.
Frowning, he pulled it down off the shelf and eyed the dusty cover. There weren't any markings that he could see, and it did look quite old, but he was sure he'd never seen it before. He flipped open the front cover, and his frown deepened when he discovered it was written in no language he knew. In fact, it wasn't even written in a language he'd ever seen before. At all. And that meant it wasn't something that belonged in this world.
He put the book down, very carefully, and went to consult his other magical books.
"...What do you mean it... escaped?"
"Simply that, my lord. There's been a growing disturbance in the Astral Plane. No one has been able to ascertain its origin. When I went to retrieve the latest manuscript, it vanished before I was able to destroy it. I believe it fled through that distortion into another plane, my lord."
"I see. It must be retrieved."
"I understand, my lord."
"Miss Lina, please don't do this!"
"Shut up Amelia, it's just food! Waiter! More pork!"
"But Miss Lina..."
Zelgadis sighed, letting his chin rest in his hand and tuning out the chaos that was Dinner With Lina Inverse, Sorceress and Enemy of All Who Lived. He was successful, up until the point where Lina screeched and threw a Fireball over Zelgadis's head. He simply sighed, ducked, and wondered who had insulted her this time.
When he turned, he was mildly surprised to see Xellos standing in front of the smoking hole in the wall, innocent act firmly in place as munched on a skewer of meat that had previously been on Lina's plate.
"What are you doing here, Xellos?" Lina ground out. "How dare you interrupt my mealtime!"
Xellos swallowed his mouthful, then laughed lightly. "Actually, believe it or not, I'm here on other business. I ran into you by chance."
Lina frowned, eying him. "Oh really?"
"Really!" Xellos smiled, practically radiating innocence. "In fact, I should be going now. Thank you for dinner, it was lovely. Ta!" With a grin and a cheeky wave he was gone, just barely missing the second Fireball Lina threw at his head.
Amelia was frowning slightly when Lina turned back around. "Miss Lina, doesn't it seem strange that he would just coincidentally run into us here...?"
Gourry blinked at them all, never having stopped eating. "Eh? Why is it weird? Xellos is everywhere."
"And that in itself is suspicious," Lina muttered, then shook herself and frowned hard at Gourry. "Hey! That steak was mine!"
Zelgadis just shook his head.
Norway didn't know anything about strange books written in runes, though he did mention that the magical planes had felt a bit off lately. Arthur just sighed and thanked him for his help. He was considering trying a translation spell to get the book into English, or at least Latin, when he walked back into the library.