“Why do you look like that if you’re a library?” Maria asked.
Shun looked like he wanted to ask something too, but was too out of it from the hypnosis to form a coherent sentence.
“I…I want to ask,” I finally decided what I wanted to know most. “Do fiends really exist? Also, what about karma demons?”
We waited with bated breath. Sixty seconds passed, then two minutes, then three, but the false minoshiro remained silent.
“Hey, why aren’t you answering?” Satoru couldn’t wait any longer.
“User registration is required to access query services,” it said, without a trace of guilt for making us wait for nothing.
“Geez, shouldn’t you tell us that first?” Satoru said reproachfully.
“How do we register?”
The false minoshiro ignored Satoru and addressed Maria’s question.
“You must be eighteen year or older, and supply proof of name, address, and age with one of the following: driver’s license, insurance card (with address), passport (a copy with full date of birth, and current address), student identification (with address and date of birth), certificate of residence (issued within the past three months), or other official identification. All must be within the expiry date.
“Eighteen? But we’re…”
“Furthermore, the following forms of identification are not valid: employee identification, student identification (lacking date of birth or address), commuter passes, business cards…”
The false minoshiro was probably talking about some papers that were used way back when. We had a rough idea of what it was talking about because we had learned a little bit about the strange age in which pieces of paper were more important than the people themselves.
“What if we don’t have any of those things?” I asked.
“If user registration is not completed, query services will be unavailable,” the false minoshiro said in the same placid voice.