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    Translated by Tam
    Edited by Genie


     

    Blenn’s head had been moving busily since entering. He gently pulled on the hem of Serdel’s sleeve. Judging by the atmosphere, it seemed that his younger sister might not be there. 

     

    “Is this all of them?” Serdel asked their guide.

     

    “No, if you go down, there’s more.”

     

    They walked to the stairs that appeared at the end of the hallway and went straight down. The atmosphere grew creepier but they had to press on, after all they hadn’t found Blenn’s sister yet. When they saw what was being kept downstairs Blenn’s steps came to a halt. As he grabbed Serdel’s sleeve, his hands trembled. Tears fell from the tip of his chin. Serdel covered Blenn’s front and threw her gaze through the cage, afraid that their mouse-masked guide would see him crying and think it strange.

     

    A young woman was sitting blankly. Her body seemed so small. Her brown hair wasn’t well-groomed. Her fair skin was pale and dry, but she was still very beautiful, resembling Blenn. The woman must have sensed the presence on this side of the room but she never turned her head. As if she was ignoring her own situation.

     

    “I like that kid.” 

     

    Serdel handed over the acquisition right she was holding.

     

    “I’ll take it.” 

     

    “Ah, thank you.” The guide rubbed his hands as the creepily smiling mouse face seemed to smile wider. 

     

    *****

     

    Later, Serdel was guided to the management room by another masked man. She signed a contract for the rights of the slave with a man who looked like a mean-looking middleman. As soon as she paid, she took custody of Blenn’s sister. 

     

    Serdel held his arm tightly to prevent Blenn from reacting too obviously in public.

     

    “She’s your new master. Say hello.” 

     

    Blenn’s sister was pushed roughly by the staff. She was small and shabby even up close, the neglect and abuse obvious. The bruises stained her skin that was exposed through the worn-out rags she wore as clothing.

     

    Serdel became emotional just thinking about how much must have happened. Her eyes grew very blurry, and she seemed to lose her mind at that moment. In the end, she forced out words that didn’t even want to come out.

     

    “Tsk, it’s—dirty.”

     

    Serdel took off the coat she was wearing, clicking her tongue in faux annoyance she handed her coat to Terra pretending to be uninterested. 

     

    “—Ah. Yes.”

     

    Quick-witted, He quickly received it and folded it in his arms. 

     

    “Name?” Serdel asked in an annoyed tone.

     

    “—I-it’s Laura.”

     

    “I’ll have to leave while my humor seems to be intact.”  Serdel made motions to leave, trying to pretend that dealing with a slave had tired her out.

     

    Looking at Laura who was still  looking down, Serdel turned around. 

     

    “That’s too bad. There are many more fun things prepared. It’s your first time enjoying it, so don’t you mind if you stay a little longer?” The staff said, smiling like a snake when Serdel’s steps paused. 

     

    “It’s a show that takes a lot of time, money, and manpower to prepare, so I wonder when the next time you’ll enjoy it will be if it’s not today—” He continued, emboldened by her pause. 

     

    “You talk so much that it’s loud.”

     

    Beyond the mask, the employee who saw Serdel’s displeased glare bowed his head. 

     

    “I’m sorry. Please forgive me for being rude.” 

     

    “I am leaving now.” Serdel said forcefully, daring anyone to try to stop her again. 

     

    “Yes. Thank you. Please come again next time.” 

     

    Terra quietly placed the coat onto Laura and grabbed her hand following Serdel out as he bit back the words he wanted to spit at the grinning mouse mask.  How long did it take to leave the management office and walk down the dark hallway?

     

    “Terra. This child seems to have difficulty moving, so hold her.” 

     

    “Ah, yes!”

     

    “N-no, I-I’m fine—”

     

    Laura took a step back, possibly because she was afraid. She quickly removed the coat she was wearing. Then she trembled violently when she saw her dirty hands.

     

    “I-I’m sorry, t-the precious Lady’s clothes become dirty— it’s my fault. I’m sorry. P-please don’t hit me. I-I’m sorry.”

     

    Serdel approached Laura cautiously, as she looked like she was about to kneel and beg at any moment, and gently embraced her.

     

    Hiik! Laura was only able to let out a startled scream. 

     

    Serdel gently stroked her back, which was shaking violently.

     

    “Shh— It’s okay, it’s okay, so calm down. It’s all over.”

     

    A gentle, warm touch soothed her body, and she was able to calm down a little. 

     

    Serdel hugged her even tighter because it wasn’t enough. It was clear that she was afraid of people but yearned for warmth.

     

    She loosened her embrace a little, trying not to hurt the child. 

     

    “I’m not trying to hurt you. I’m here to help you, so don’t be scared.” Serdel whispered soothingly to Laura to try and help her relax. 

     

    After putting the coat back over the small, still shivering, body she wiped Laura’s face with a handkerchief from her pocket. Maybe it was a little dirty, but she tried to put the handkerchief back in her pocket but Laura held it tight and wouldn’t let it go. 

     

    “I, I, I will wash it and give it to you. L, Lady, it’s dirty because of me—”

     

    “Sure.” 

     

    With a smile, she motioned for Blenn to come over. When he did she grabbed his hand and overlapped it on the back of Laura’s hand. 

     

    “Hiik—!”

     

    Flustered, Laura tried to pull her hand away, but Blenn held on tightly.

     

    “—Laura.”

     

    Startled by the familiar voice Laura looked up at him in surprise.

     

    Blenn’s voice, which struggled to clearly say his younger sister’s name, was also full of tears. Laura’s eyes widened. 

     

    “H-huh—”

     

    Tears flowed down. Before Laura’s mouth opened wide to cry loudly, Serdel raised her hand and blocked it. 

     

    “Sshhhh. We have to go out safely now, so be quiet.”

     

    She had no idea what would happen in a place with such shady energy. Of course, she wouldn’t want it known that she went in and out of a place like this, so she wouldn’t want to make a big scene.

     

    Because she knows better than anyone that aristocrats blinded by greed can oftentimes act beyond imagination. Moreover, a voice full of anger from Count Sollete still lingered in her mind uncomfortably as if she could still hear him bellowing from somewhere.

     

    There was nothing bad about being careful. Laura nodded her head and her eyes fell to Blenn. Because of the veil, she couldn’t see his face well, so her gaze persistently stuck to his face.

     

    Blenn hugged Laura lightly. When the group was just about to resume their exit they heard something coming from in front of them.

     

    Jiik, jiiik, jiiiik. 

     

    From the other side of a well-hidden door, a man in a black fox mask was walking with a large heavy sack in his hand. He mumbled, looked at Serdel, and bowed his head.

     

    Her gaze was naturally drawn downward to the sack that would occasionally bang against the wall. 

     

    Whoosh! Inside the bag a bloody deep – red that came out soaking the outside, she got goosebumps. At one point, the inside of the bag was visible through a rip, and she confirmed the contents were as gruesome as she feared.

     

    Limbs from people seemingly many people were entangled together. A scream rushed through her throat into her mouth as she processed the sight in front of her. Serdel’s head instinctively turned back in the direction of the door the man came out from.

     

    Scene after scene played out in her head for some reason.

     

    Her heart skipped a beat. 

     

    “What’s wrong?”

     

    Blenn, who saw her unusual expression, stuck close to her side. 

     

    “You don’t look so good.”

     

    “Lady, are you okay?”

     

    Terra also asked anxiously. However, instead of responding to the question, Serdel took a few staggered steps forwards. As she turned the corner, a large cage on the wall near the entrance caught her attention once more. Unlike when it was full, there were several empty spots.

     

    It was obvious where they were taken. And by now. What might have happened—.

     

    Jiiik, jiik, jiiiiik—.

     

    She thinks she knows, she lowered her head while silently whispering. 

     

    As if the light had dimmed, her view became darker and someone’s afterimage began to appear in front of her. 

     

    What is this strange phenomenon? 

     

    Why is it continuing? 

     

    ‘Was that a foreshadowing dream? I’m not sleeping, so it’s most likely not. So, is it just simple foresight? ‘

     

    Can her abilities be activated without her having to be asleep? But something didn’t feel quite right. It could be compared to a cross-section of foresight. It was more like seeing ‘the present, but beyond, to see another possibility’ than the future.

     

    ‘The black horse mask—.’ 

     

    She faintly saw a huge man dragging a bag that was several times the size of what the man with the black fox mask had just carried with one hand.

     

    It was most likely filled with the corpses of slaves, whose heads were sacrificed for the smooth setting of the phantom goblins in the “Show”. Mumbling. As the man counted numbers, he walked slowly with his head looking down at the ground.

     

    The hallway appeared at the end. After walking for a long time, he suddenly entered somewhere. And—.

     

    “Lady!”

     

    Startled Serdel stopped

     

    With one hand, Blenn grasped Serdel’s thin arm. In the end, her consciousness that was about to cross over to the other side was abruptly pulled back into the present.

     


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