After interrogating one suspect, two agents of a secret service are preparing to step up their investigation into the Scrollsayers. The next witness is about to trigger some explosive new events and also blow away the smokescreen enshrouding the matter.

"Get your hands off me or I'll blow you up!"

The two agents looked up at the door of the interrogation room. Escorted by two militiamen, a small, masked adventurer in handcuffs gave them a dirty look.

"Please sit, Miss Brendo Welsh," said the Feca agent impassively, leafing through her file.

Once the Rogue was seated, the militiamen left. The Osamodas agent approached with a heavy crate and dropped it on the table with a bang. It contained weapons and other items, along with a large number of scrolls.

"Recognize these items, Miss Welsh?"

"Don't call me Miss."
"Oh, 'Ms.', excuse me," said the Osamodas agent sarcastically, immediately earning a vicious look from the Rogue.
"These weapons and magic scrolls were found in your Dragoturkey's pack."
"Have I done anything illegal, Officer?"
"Not yet, but magic scroll trafficking is being watched very closely."
"Watched by whom, Officer?"
"By the TSB, the Twelvian Security Bureau, Miss Welsh. We've seen a significant and alarming rise in this new practice of trading magic scrolls, and there's been no time to implement appropriate regulations for it."
"So, I've been arrested for no good reason. Apprehended without having committed the slightest infraction. I believe the TSB is an independent organization, so your sudden interest in magic scrolls is also alarming. And suspicious. Who hired you?"
"We don't have to answer your ques –"
"The Magic Committee or the Inquisition?"
"Enough! We're here to talk about some troublesome little groups and what they're up to!" interrupted the Osamodas agent. "You yourself belong to one of them."

The agent pulled out a card, which showed a photo of Brendo Welsh squinting and stretching her mouth wide open to stick her tongue out as far as possible.

"You are a member of the LOLRPG, are you not?"

"The Local Order for Liberation from Religious Persistent Groupthink," said the Feca agent, pushing her glasses up.
"Sounds like the name of a cult, huh, boss?" added the Osamodas agent.
"It's irony," said Brendo Welsh, rolling her eyes. "We called it that to poke fun at those pretentious types from the Magic Committee and the Inquisition."
"'We called it that': are you one of the founders?"
"Pfff… Who cares! We're just a group of adventurers and friends who are simply benefiting from the change in fortunes these scrolls are bringing. Magic is not and has never been the exclusive domain of an egotistical elite who think they're the hottest thing since sliced bread!"
"But that's where you're wrong!"

These last words were uttered by a male voice and came from a dark corner of the room. A pompous-looking person wearing an over-sized white wig made his appearance:

"If any old illiterate can acquire the same knowledge as a scholar whose learning was procured through extensive study, then the world is in a sorry state."

The three young women began to snicker. It must be noted that this visitor's appearance, while noble, was also quite ridiculous. Once the amusement had passed, Brendo replied to the newcomer:

"Malco Dracfoy! I must say that the Magic Committee greatly disappoints me. All this pettiness bears all the hallmarks of the Inquisition."

"They may be rather obsessed with the gods, but I admit to sharing certain of their views on respect, traditions, and learning. Some of the Committee are opposed to the idea of shutting down the trafficking of magic scrolls, but action must be taken!"
"When you say 'action', you mean 'hire someone to do the work for you while you lurk in the shadows'?" said Brendo, mockingly.
"Ah, not taking anything seriously is such a characteristic of LOLRPG members! For the same reason, you steal knowledge from others by simply reading a scroll, while cultured people find the answers themselves and work hard to master this magic. The fate awaiting you will be justly deserved…"
"And what do you mean by that?" asked the Rogue.
"Yes, what do you mean by that?" repeated the Feca agent, apparently out of the loop.
"Allow me to explain…"

All eyes turned to the opposite dark corner.




"Okay, how many other people are hiding in this tiny room?" asked the incredulous Osamodas agent out loud.

A priest clothed in white emerged into the light.

"I am Father Perledelaih. I'm here to help you. Heresy can be found at every crossroads, and one can take the wrong turn easily without meaning to…"
"I want to. And I don't need any help!" Brendo said, cutting the priest off.
"You are a lost Gobbette. In fact, you are part of a whole lost flock called the LOLRPG. But we will help you…"
"The more you say, the more you freak me out," said Brendo.
"Don't worry, we'll only follow the teachings of the Index."
"Meaning?" asked the Feca agent.
"We will take them with us. Her and the Pandacra… or Cradawa… or whatever it was. They have committed blasphemy, but there's still time to save them. We will simply mark them and… punish them. Just a little bit…"
"Out of the question!" said the Feca agent, rising from her chair. "You hired us to conduct this investigation. Our inquiry was supposed to determine if there's trafficking of scrolls and potentially to regulate it."
"That was indeed your role. Mine is none of your concern, Miss…"

Isis, the Osamodas agent, stepped in between Brendo Welsh and the priest, then pulled a whip from a holster at her waist. The priest smiled. Malco Dracfoy in turn pointed a pink revolver at the agent.

"Is that my weapon?" said the handcuffed Rogue.
"Yes, it was just over there in that crate. Haha!"
"That gun won't hurt you," Brendo whispered to the Osa agent. "I modified it so it would only heal. That's the Eniripsa in me!"

With a crack of the whip, the agent disarmed her aggressor, who responded with a piercing scream and grabbed his hand.


Father Perledelaih simply continued to smile. The two militiamen entered the room and pointed their spears at the two agents.

"You've no right to do this," said the Feca agent.
"It's for your own good. You know not what you do," the priest replied.

He motioned to one of the militiamen to seize the prisoner. But at that very moment, a ball of feathers rolled across the ground. A trembling Tofu sat there with two band-aids across its beak in the sign of a cross. On its abdomen, a mechanical countdown timer moved from 3 to 2. Everyone dived to the floor face-down, arms covering their heads. When the timer reached zero, the creature emitted a blast of gas from its rear end, filling the room with smoke…

To be continued…

The Rise of the Scrollsayers is happening now in DOFUS!