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    Translated by Tam
    Edited by Tam


     

    Four days have passed. She searched all over the house for traces of her mother, but it was like finding a needle in the desert.

     

    Like an old mansion, there were many hidden spaces inside the building. Push out the bookshelf or push out the bed and wait. A dusty wooden door appeared.

     

    At the bottom of the old well, there was a manhole with a lock, and there were lines of obscure characters with unknown meanings on the floor of the garden.

     

    If she hadn’t met the man, all of these were issues that would have gone unnoticed. She must have thought that the previous owner’s hobbies were very unique. After facing the magic circle in the basement and then a monster fighting a man—.

     

    “Uhm.”

     

    To be honest, even after they met, she had no idea

     

    “It’s delicious.”

     

    “Isn’t it? Cooking is what I’m good at. I’ve gotten swearing at other places once, but only cooking! Not even once! I’ve never been insulted,” the woman said proudly as she straightened her chest. Under the ears, short black hair shook. “Eat more. I made a lot of it.”

     

    “It’s only the two of us after all, Rose.”

     

    “Don’t worry, if it’s two, you can eat it all.”

     

    Catherine hired Rose as the first maid of the mansion. Of course, it wasn’t a maid who the man paid 1,000 Rid to get her away from there.

     

    ‘I took everything I had.’

     

    She’s now a full beggar as a result of that. Fortunately, she owns a home and will not be sleeping on the street.

     

    “Lady, today we’re going to clean up the fourth floor of the east, right?”

     

    “Hm, yes.”

     

    “Phew! I can finally see the end. We will be able to live now if we work hard today.”

     

    Rose sat on the table’s edge, a cry of pain and pounding in her back. Being together with the maid? If it had been Orleans, it would never have happened, but Catherine didn’t seem to mind.

     

    「Recruitment of maids to be like family for only two months」

     

    This is because it was mentioned on the square’s bulletin board from the beginning. Catherine was the only one in the mansion, so she didn’t see the need in being picky about hiring a maid for only two months.

     

    Rose was the one who discovered all of the house’s hidden spaces. Catherine wasn’t very meticulous, so she walked through certain sections casually.

     

    “Lady, what’s your schedule?”

     

    “Today I will—”

     

    Only Catherine, who spread jam on baked bread, answered solemnly.

     

    “I’m going to go to the garden.’ 

     

    Garden! Mansion management’s flower, but also known as hell. After Catherine, Rose’s gaze turned serious as well.

     

    “Oh my, I was stupid. I liked it the last time but I didn’t expect more work to be done.” 

     

    She laughed lightly and quickly emptied the plate. She didn’t have time to relax or eat, now that she thinks about it. How long will it take to fix the garden that was ruined today? Her legs and waist are already freezing from just thinking about it.

     

    However, the sky inadvertently darkened from day to day, and the rain began to pour. 

     

    Whooosh! 

     

    Oh damn it. The weeds that had been growing for a long time came up to the waist. It was fortunate, though, that it poured before they started working. She was so upset by the end of the day that she couldn’t sleep.

     

    She had no choice but to have the book in her hands the entire day. She also told Rose to take a break and stop working. Despite Catherine’s concerns, she rolled up her sleeves and began cleaning the mansion. It was due to the fact that there was nothing else to do but clean.

     

    Knock knock. 

     

    After such a long period of silence, it was nearly midnight. Catherine awoke from her dozing in front of the fire when she heard a knock. Rose, of course, was the person who came into her room.

     

    “Rose?”

     

    As soon as she faced her, she felt like she was wide awake. 

     

    “I, uh, Lady. I know it’s rude, but can I come in for a moment?”

     

    With a face full of fear, Rose was shivering her small shoulders.

     

    “Of course.”

     

    Catherine put Rose next to her. Looking at her clothes, she seemed to be about to fall asleep. 

     

    “What’s going on at this hour?”

     

    “That’s—”

     

    Standing on a single wooden bridge was as dangerous as hearing a voice echoing quietly. Without pushing her, Catherine waited for her to speak. Rose, who had been biting her nails for a while, spoke slowly and carefully. 

     

    “I didn’t tell you because I thought I was sensitive. I’ve been hearing strange noises since I first started working.”

     

    “Strange noises?”

     

    Rose was hired three days ago. That meant that there was a strange sound from three days ago. 

     

    “Lady and I are the only ones in this mansion, right?”

     

    “Then who else is there?” 

     

    Rose’s gloomy eyes fell to the floor. She showed uneasiness with countless shares of both hands. 

     

    “But now, about midnight, I-I hear a woman laughing in the hall, am I mistaken?” she began crying and hugging Catherine tightly. It was difficult for her to move her shoulders since she was hugging her so firmly. “Lady—I’m so scared!”

     

    “Calm down and tell me the details.”

     

    “I-I hear so many things that it’s hard to explain in detail. To the sound of a woman’s laughter, to the sound of a child running around, to a string quartet— Sometimes it feels like the ground is shaking. I get dizzy. Every time I try to sleep they are tormenting me every day.”

     

    Rose, who dug herself up from Catherine, looked through the room with a frightened look, as if she was still afraid of something.

     

    “Maybe it’s because I couldn’t fall asleep properly, but I had nightmares today. Eventually, I couldn’t resist and ran away. T-that’s all.” 

     

    Ah, it must be Rose’s delusion— how great would it be to be able to answer like that. However, Catherine could not take her argument as a joke. 

     

    The broker, as well as the man, asked Catherine a similar question. She could recall the memories of that time clearly.

     

    ‘Don’t you hear any strange or scary noises every night?’

     

    ‘The shaking and auditory hallucinations of the mansion for no apparent reason?’

     

    ‘What about nightmares?’

     

    It’s just that Catherine didn’t go through it herself, so she just dismissed it as nonsense. 

     

    “—First of all, Rose. Let’s sleep in my room today.”

     

    Catherine got up from her chair and grabbed her coat. Even while sniffing her nose, she couldn’t take her eyes off her.

     

    The Magic Circle underground. In this mansion, where there are so many suspicious things, the only reason she can be sure of was the underground magic. 

     

    “W-where are you going?”

     

    “I need to check something for a second. Don’t worry and go to sleep.”

     

    It was time to pack the lantern and go out into the hallway.

     

    “L-lady!”

     

    Catherine turned her back at Rose’s call.

     

    “I-it might be a ghost but.”

     

    The sound of swallowing saliva is particularly loud. She only shed no tears, but she was talking almost as if crying. 

     

    “I don’t want you to go out. I-I think I saw a tall man at the end of the hallway—”

     

    A muffled voice grabbed Catherine’s ankle. However—.

     

    ‘She said she’d only hear it before she went to bed, so I might not be able to check it out when the sun rises.’

     

    This mansion was not just a place to live for a day or two. At least she has to hold it to the end until she finds out what happened with her mother.

     

    Above all, Catherine had no intention of watching something happen in her house that she didn’t understand. 

     

    “Rose, this is my house. No one can come in without my permission.”

     

    For that matter, the man came and went as if he were coming and going to his own house—.

     

    Catherine draped her coat over Rose’s shoulders and left the room. Contrary to Rose’s testimony, she did not feel any signs of noises at the end of the hallway. 

     

    She walked down to the first floor with a cautious step.

     

    She stood in the middle of the hall, closed her eyes, and listened, but all she heard was the pouring rain. The sound of a woman laughing, a child running, and the sound of the ground trembling. Catherine was simply standing in the midst of the silence.

     

    ‘As expected, I need to check the basement.’

     

    She went to the kitchen to look for the basement key. When the key was not visible, Catherine, who was searching the cupboard with a small light, put down her lamp and took a deep breath. 

     

    Then a black silhouette came into Catherine’s sight and beyond the window.

     

    ‘That’s—’

     

    It looks like a human. 

     

    She pushed open the window and looked out to see what it was. Tall, slender yet strong figure with bright hair that appears white at first glance and a straight waist. She’s sure it was him.

     

    ‘What the hell are you doing over there?’

     

    The man just stood there without a movement. She couldn’t check what kind of face it was because she only saw the back of his head. 

     

    Whoosh. 

     

    The rain didn’t seem to be getting weaker. In the midst of pouring rain, if he stands outside for that long—.

     

    The worry wasn’t that long. Catherine snatched the lamp and ran outside. There was no way such an umbrella could be in the corner of such an old house. As she ran with her head covered, she grabbed the man’s shoulder and turned. 

     

    She thinks there was a similar scene four days ago—.

     

    “Hey.”

     

    But it’s strange, there’s no reaction from a man. He was as stiff as a wax figure as he stood far and wide. Recognizing the abnormal phenomenon, Catherine lit up the man’s face with a lantern. 

     

    The nose and eyelashes soaked in rain were seen through the yellow light. The man had his eyes closed. As if he’s dead.

     

    “Hey! Wake up. Why are you in someone else’s house—”

     

    The man disappeared before she could finish her sentence. Frustrated, Catherine took a step back. No, it’s not gone. The man was lying on the floor unconscious. 

     

    She seemed to have lost her mind for a while in the embarrassing situation. Catherine, who came to her senses belatedly, waved the man with her lamp beside her. Despite the harsh shaking, the man still had his eyes closed as if dead. 

     

    After that, her memory is hazy as to how they dragged the man into the mansion. She probably had her superhuman powers unleashed without her knowledge.

     

    The hard-cleaned hall quickly got dirty from dragging a man on the muddy ground. The man’s body was as cold as ice. Catherine laid the man down on the stairs and ran up to the bedroom. 

     

    “Rose—!”

     

    She could feel the water dripping from the bottom of her skirt.

     

    The room was as quiet as an empty bedroom. Rose sat in her chair and fell asleep. She said she hadn’t slept properly for days because of the strange noises. Catherine, who had been staring at the sleeping Rose, quietly closed the door. 

     

    Thanks to that, she had to exert superhuman power once again. After dragging the man away, she lay on the sofa on the first floor.

     

    “Haa.. Haa.. He’s so big—”

     

    The man’s body was covered in blankets. The fire immediately became warm when the fireplace was started, despite the humid air making it difficult. After some time, ‘they’ appeared.

     

    「Hand it over, kid.」

     

    ‘That thing’ that lives in all darkness in the world.

     

    ‘They’ were blacker than shadows, disgusting like sludge, and smelled like rotten water. These are the things that have been upsetting Catherine since she was a child.

     

    Catherine did not know the exact identity of ‘that thing’. She knew that she was of the same kind as the man who had fallen, and that he was a far inferior being.

     

    「Hand over that noble thing to us.」

     

    If it’s a noble thing, are they referring to this man?

     

    「Hand it over. Let’s exchange it for a wish.」

     

    「Let’s exchange it for a wish, kid. That noble thing and your wish—」 

     

    “Noisy, shut your mouth.”

     

    Talking with ‘that thing’ doesn’t work.

     

    All she had to do was constantly repeat what she had to say. Her mother was very bothered by them too. Catherine wrinkled her forehead and shot them.

     

    “Shut up and get lost.”

     


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    Tam

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