The Book of Bantorra

Even the “gods” of the Bantorra world are bound to the oppressive influence of love.

The Bantorra Library and it’s manufactured rival, the Church, were created to appease Ruruta. He’s another Book Eater, and thousands of years before the events of the series, he used his power to absorb the books of thousands of people in order to gain the power needed to fend off an apocalyptic attack from one of the gods who rules of the world. It was a noble cause– the save humanity from one of its creators– but those in power weren’t satisfied with merely saving humanity.

Ruruta fell in love Nieniu, a peasant woman far below Ruruta’s station, and those guiding him see her as a distraction. Nieniu is disposed of, and Ruruta is tricked into forgetting her through the same means that Mirepoc forgot about Volken. The anguish caused by her death causes Nieniu to become a vessel for the God of the Future’s plans to destroy the world, and when Ruruta fulfills his destiny to protect the world from said onslaught, he finally regains his memories.

The Library, and subsequently the Church, are soon created in order to absolve Ruruta of his accidental sin. He wishes to bring happiness to Nieniu, and creates the forces necessary to feed her Books of people who have experienced extreme pleasure, joy, and self-fulfillment– the very “virtues” that the Church upholds. Essentially, the Church exists to create “perfect” Books by creating a religion that deliberately creates extremists who go to extravagant ends to live life to the fullest, and the Library exists to procure those books through an endless war against a foe that doesn’t realize its true purpose.

All of this is to satiate one man’s selfish desire to heap love upon a being who is no longer the woman he once loved.

This may be the one time in the series where one’s love is truly “wrong.” Even the kid who’s hatred nearly destroyed the world was rooted in genuine anguish for someone he loved– he was grieving and wasn’t in control of his faculties. Ruruta’s love for Nieniu is fully conscious and completely willful. Much like how people were sacrificed in order to fuel his power to save the world, so has he sacrificed even more people through his conspiracy to satiate the desires of the creature that once used to be his beloved.

That may be the kicker here– that the love isn’t mutual. Yes, at one time they were in love with one another, but with her death and subsequent rebirth as a destructive entity, Nieniu is no longer the woman Ruruta loves, and therefore has no desire to reciprocate his obsessive acts. She’s placated, but she’s not experiencing the same thing as Ruruta.

Love brings out the best and the worst in people– it saves worlds, and it also ends them. And the worst of it may be the worst thing a person can do, as such strong feelings create the worst kinds of manipulative, destructive, controlling behavior. The very political dynamic of the Bantorra world– the bonds that enslave Meats and control how you can keep in touch with your loved ones after their passing– are due to this one man’s perverse love.

Even if unintended, that’s true evil, but that’s what makes the capacity to love so vital to existence. It’s a weapon that shapes and destroys the world, and it’s that weaponization that ultimately saves the world too.

Hamyuts forces herself inside of Ruruta’s Nonentity Entrails– the place where all the souls of the Books he’s eaten exist. This is why Hamyuts was “created.” A former Acting Chairman of the Library couldn’t bare to remain responsible for the Library and Church’s actions and set forth to create weapons that could defeat Ruruta and Nieniu if the time ever came to do so. Hamyuts was one of those weapons, as was her “sister,” Chacoly.

The two women are polar opposites in terms of their intended purpose. They’re both nuclear options, created in tandem for the same end, but their payloads are crafted to exploit two extremes. Hamyuts is the more conventional weapon. She’s physically imposing, possessing far greater prowess than any normal human or human-powered by magic. If brute force is capable of defeating these existential threats, Hamyuts is the only person possessing that sort of firepower.

Chacoly is everything Hamyuts is not. Where Hamyuts is essentially the manifestation of mass murder, Chacoly is love in its purest form. Which is to say, she has the ability to make anyone fall in love with her, and she was taught to feel that the only person for her is Ruruta. She is to find him, make him fall in love with her, and effectively “neuter” him.

The catch is that Chacoly and the former Acting Director who “created” her were unaware of Ruruta’s former love. His love for Nieniu supersedes any forced feelings, and Chacoly is driven mad by the ultimate rejection.

And that’s where the problem lies. The solution was focused upon changing how Ruruta feels about things. If he’s the one with the potential to destroy the world, then naturally he has to be changed. It’s “cut the wires and stop the bomb” logic– to defuse the situation by neutralizing the enemy.

That isn’t the world’s problem. The outside force is never really the problem. All problems are rooted within the self, and solutions only come when all parties come to the self-realization that the problem isn’t “you.” The problem is “me.”

Hamyuts comes to this realization during her battle with Ruruta and Nieniu. She may be the ultimate weapon, but through her interactions with her fellow Armed Librarians, she’s learned that her power– her purpose– comes just as much from those relationships as it does from her ability to murder. Yes, she’s the most badass monster to walk this planet, but what’s that matter if you don’t have friends and loved ones to share that with?

Hamyuts finally finds her real purpose. It isn’t to kill Ruruta, as she was “created” to do, it’s to be the leader of the Bantorra Library and meet everyone she’s met along the way. That shared experience is what makes her Hamyuts, and that’s what gives her the power to help Ruruta defeat Nieniu and save the world.

It’s that self-realization– love for oneself and where you fall in the grand scheme of things– that saves the world. Save yourself and save everyone else. It all feeds upon itself. Gotta want to love yourself to love others, gotta find your place among others to find your inner peace. Can’t have one without the other, not sure where one begins and the other ends. Which one comes first?

It’s probably just like Hamyuts and Chacoly– created in tandem, working together to kill the big bad monster that’s all the nastiness in the world that makes life terrible. You need both to get by.

Yeah, The Book of Bantorra is the best love story ever.

Got plans for the Patreon that will go live in the next week or so. You might wanna wait until then to check it out. Just another friendly reminder that it exists and to look out for stuff happening soonish.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s