Sousuke snapped back to reality as Kaname said to Beowulf, "Actually, we had no interest in it at all, except that we were foolish enough to pass up the chance to be eaten by man-eating yaks again, in order to come here and end up with stupid maps on our backs."
"Well, that is traditionally where the map tattoos end up," Beowulf said. "A very strange custom, given that a person would end up with a map they could not read themselves. Although Dr. Yukari thinks that it must have been traditional to have your slave use the tattoo-conferring books, since the Bedakeen did keep slaves and usually made them go topless as a mark of their station. You see..."
"Is it traditional for the books to explode?" Melissa asked.
"Not so far as has been recorded," Beowulf said.
Lily looked up the ridge at the tower. "So, I take it the tower blew up when you were examining the books?"
Munchausen shook some ashes out of his hair. "Yes. So far as I can tell, the first map book I opened blew up and put these tattoos all over us. And it looks like all the other maps blew up."
"A pity," Beowulf said. "So, what maps did you all get?"
"The Singing Lark of Ptah," Munchausen said. "I think that's what the book's cover indicated. Everyone put shirts on before I could really check." He took his shirt off and turned around. "Am I right?"
"It would appear that this is part of a map to the Lark, yes," Beowulf said. "Fascinating."