One more week, some new chapters…
Arc 14: Brunhild Dukedom
Chapter 101: Abandoned Castle and The Ghost
It is said that the former feudal lord resided in this castle. In those days this feudal lord who had the trust of His Majesty The Emperor was loved dearly by the population, since it seemed like he was diligent and famous person with his tolerant policies and good government.
Even so, one day this feudal lord’s character changed entirely to the extreme. His beloved wife died. After that, soon after he started secluding himself in the castle, the incidents began to happen in that territory. That being so, the people started to disappear one after another among the population. And then, one person managed to see that the village girl was being carried away by feudal lord. In order to confirm the situation, the population of fief went towards the castle all together.
However, there were no gatekeepers who were expected to guard the castle gates. On the contrary, inside the castle there was not a single person among servants, knights or military underlings. In the dungeon, the people who began to express their concerns saw thrown away pile of corpses, and another, and one more. What the feudal lord was performing was a secret research of [Undead Rebirth] in order to resurrect his beloved wife. The people who were inside the castle became the sacrifices in this laboratory, and when they were used up he kidnapped the appropriate people among the population, so that he could continue his research.
The people who barely escaped with their lives appealed to the imperial capital about this case. His Majesty The Emperor of that time immediately sent soldiers and feudal lord was easily caught. And then he was executed on the spot.
And yet, the story didn’t end with that. Before long the new feudal lords were appointed to this castle, but the first person died of illness, the second died falling from the horse when he went for a long ride, the third one was stabbed by his own wife and so they all died one by one. It is unknown who said it first, but there was a rumor about curse of previous feudal lord that began to rise. Since the fourth new feudal lord disliked to live in this castle, eventually, it became abandoned, and was thrown away.
As a matter of course, the surrounding villages declined, and were not approached by people. And then it became so that the castle was made the dwelling of robbers and brigands. However, not a single person was able to keep living in this castle. It is what everyone of caught thieves said unanimously.
「The ghost lives in this castle」, they said。
「It is that castle, isn’t it」
「In the first place, it seems that story is from 100 years ago」
The cursed castle… It is a common story when coming in the dead of night it might be scary, but at daytime it is not scary as one would expect. Air is perfectly clear as well, there is not a single cloud in the sky. How refreshing.
The ones who have come along are the usual party members and newly joined Rue as well as the summoned beasts trio of Kohaku, Sango and Kuroyou. An erected ominous old castle is visible before our eyes, and I unintentionally fold my arms. Certainly, it has an atmosphere where it looks like something will come out.
「We do have permission from His Majesty The Emperor, don’t we?」
「Hai. To destroy it or to rebuild it, it is fine to do as we like 」
All right. Then should we get the whole castle with no reservation? Since the castle is a little bigger than the designed one at [Workshop], I wonder if it won’t happen that materials would be insufficient. Well, should it be that they won’t be sufficient, at that time let’s buy the deficit amount.
「Then, expanding the [Gate], shall I make the whole castle move towards Brunhild? 」
「…Wait please. Before doing that, isn’t it better to confirm the inside of castle? It might be possible that thieves or magic beasts or undead and the like are haunting it, ~desu」
「And ghosts as well」
To Lindsey’s advice, Elsie interferes while smiling. It seems like that girl doesn’t believe in the story that ghosts come out. Comparatively, it can be seen that her face is becoming stiff.
Certainly, it will be troublesome if there are extra guys inside of it. It might be better to try to search the castle for the sake of confirmation for the time being.
Passing through the castle gates, we enter inside the castle and finally arrive at the entrance hall. The furnishings covered all over with spiderweb and dust are dimly visible inside of gloomy room.
「Then, let’s roughly patrol it by separating into three groups of two people each. If anything happens, it should be fine to have Kohaku and Sango-Kuroyou make contact. Kohaku will go with Yumina and Rue, Sango and Kuroyou – with Lindsey and Yae, Elsie will go around with me」
「Eeh, Ah, it is fine. Th~, then we will go around this way!」
Although it was noisily, Elsie briskly started walking to the inner parts. However, she stopped at once suddenly and turned her face this way.
「He~, hey! Let’s go, Touya!」
Seeing this, Lindsey smiles with a giggle. It seems like the younger twin sister-san has foreseen all of this. I rush over in Elsie’s direction with half run, and start walking beside her. Everyone dispersed in their respective directions inside the castle as well.
When I look outside the window, it seems like the clouds are gathering. And yet until some time ago it was clear.
「So, Elsie-san is weak with the ghosts, is it?」
「Wh~!? What, what are you saying !? Gh~, ghosts you say, what ghosts… !」
「Ah, a white shadow behind you…… 」
「Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ! ?」
While raising a shriek, Elsie comes clinging to me. Ouu, ouch-ouch ! Rather than feeling good, it hurts ! Isn’t this what’s called [Bear Hug] ! ?
「Forgive… with curtain… so, let go…… !」
「…… curtain ?」
Turning her face around, before Elsie there is a curtain which turned yellow and became tattered shaking to the draft. Seeing this, Elsie released her arms in a flash, and set me free.
Uaaa…… I thought my backbone would break…… .
「Cu~, curtain, is it…… 」
Sighing and stroking down her chest, Elsie expresses a face of relief.
「After all, are you not good with that ? 」
While her face was blushing deep red, she turned this way. As she was flapping her mouth open and closed, it seems like she was searching for explanation words.
「……. There is one or two scary things anyone is afraid of, isn’t it?」
「Well, it is like that. However it is unexpected for you to say so」
「The opponent whom you cannot hit is no good, you know…… 」
With a frowning face, Elsie turns away. Her face is still red as it is. Being a weak reason is not typical of her at all.
I grasp the hand of Elsie who behaves such way.
「Hiyaa…… ! ?」
「Well, I think you don’t need to hide it that much. Since if it is scary, raise and grasp my arm this way」
Elsie slightly nods. With hands tied as it is, while searching for indications nearby, and peeking into rooms one by one, we go around confirming if there are anyone. As I thought, this castle is considerably spacious. However it is covered all over with dust and spiderwebs. For them to gather to that extent, doesn’t’ that mean there is no one and nothing here, does it. The moment I started to think that way, something moved in a corner of the room with a clank.
「Hii ! ?」
Elsie tightly embraced my arm. Two soft things pressed against my arm with a tight squeeze. Good Job !
The mouse which brought forth such moment of happiness went out from the room in trickles and disappeared.
「Is it a mouse…… 」
「You are okay with mouse, aren’t you」
I thought that usually, if it is the girls, might they not be scared of mouse or cockroach, but the girls of this world are generally tough. They might not be agitated with this much.
「Should we try going to the second floor?」
When we ascended the stairs, there was a big portrait hanging in the landing place. A 20-years-old young woman wearing a light green dress, she was sitting down in the chair and smiling. Is that person by any chance a wife of murdering feudal lord? The one, which he tried to revive even if he had to do mass murder…… Maa, certainly, she is beautiful. …… It is big.
「What are you looking at?」
「Eh ? No, nothing ! ?」
Elsie glares with scornful eyes, and I avert my eyes. As one would expect, she doesn’t lose to Yumina and Rue, but I wonder if she is worrying about being some more on smaller side than her younger sister. But even so, there is nothing to worry about. From the feeling some time ago, I was able to affirm that it is enough, you know?
I pull Elsie’s arm in order to run away, and we face towards the second floor. When I look outside from corridor, the sky becomes more and more cloudy. And yet, until some time ago it was clear.
《Kohaku, Sango, Kuroyou. How are things on your sides? Has anything changed?》
《No, Master. There is nothing here》
《There is nothing here as well》
《It is just some number of mice came out. Boring》
It seems like there is no development on the other sides. You can only visit so many rooms with six people, but if there is something like thieves, will they run away or will they come attacking, is what I’m thinking. Besides, as long as it is the rooms we visited and looked into so far, it was a long time since anyone went in or out no matter how you think about it. At any rate, up to the corridor everything was covered with dust. Our footprints firmly remain. Be it animal or human, if there is anything, traces are sure to be left behind.
「As I thought, was it a false rumor?」
「Seems so, there is no way that, gh~, ghost or something exist, does it?」
「No? There are Live spirits called Races, Illusion spirits called Phantoms, Evil spirits called Specters, but if it is perhaps typically the ghost called things, yesterday Lindsey…… 」
「Uauauaa, I-am-not-listening !」
Elsie blocks her ears in order to not hear my words. Is she a child?
Even if in this world spiritual monsters called Race or Phantom are quite recognized, there is no actual proof to go as far as to say they are brought forth from the people who died. Despite that, something like zombie or ghoul of Undead System are actually proven. N?
Uwa, at last it began to rain. When I look outside, it was raining with big drops. I wonder if there won’t be a roof leak, in this place. No, since 100 years passed already, it probably will.
Together with Elsie who clung neatly to my arm more than some time ago, we went forward through the inside of castle, which became more gloomy when compared also with the time when we entered the castle.
Before long at a place with dead end, a big gate with double doors appeared. Is it a room of feudal lord?
Turning the knob covered with dust, while the creaking sound was raised with [Gi-gi-gi-gi], the door was opened.
It is considerably spacious and ceiling is high as well. I wonder if perhaps in olden days a luxury chandelier was hanging from there, but now it is has been scattered in very small pieces on the bed after falling down. Have metal fixtures become rusty? At one section beside collapsed fireplace, there is what seems to be a chest box, above it there are old looking vases standing in line. In the corner of the room there is rusted armor left behind, it is bringing about quite an inexpressible atmosphere.
「Somehow the atmosphere is bad…… 」
While being nervous, Elsie clings to me. Although it is scary, somehow she surely is bold……
The room’s wall was also decorated with a portrait. This time with a tough man with beard, he is wearing clothes similar to military. And then, beside him there is a woman of plain feeling wearing simple dress and quietly accompanying him. Is that the aforementioned murdering feudal lord? No, he is different. The owner of this caste after that time changed three times. Perhaps it is the last of three feudal lords, I wonder.
Suddenly, I felt a sense of discomfort.
…… Are? It is strange, isn’t it? If it is assumed that that wife-san is the wife-san of the third feudal lord…… hers is not big.
「…… What’s wrong?」
「Well, the portrait of person from earlier in landing stairs, isn’t it that person ? 」
「Now that you mention…… 」
When we decided to look at the portrait properly once again, the moment we turned our eyes, the door which should have been opened, forcefully closed with [Ban!].
Clinging, Elsie embraced me with tight squeeze. Ouch-ouch-ouch! Are you not using [Boost] by any chance, are you?
「Didn’t it close with wind……?」
It is crumbling as it is, there is also draft, it is no strange as well for the wall to open from the hole somewhere. N?
When listening carefully, some clattering noise can be heard. Is it mouse again?
No, this noise is…… vase? Vase is being shaken bit by bit. There is nothing like an earthquake, it is shaking on its own.
Before long the vase leaped with a force, turned and went in our direction.
When I avoid it while carrying Elsie in my arms, the vase collided with the wall and smashed up. What was that! ? Is it a standard ghost thing, the poltergeist fellow ! ?
In the same manner another vase leaped and came this way. This time I knocked it down with Brunhild. After that, the pen and scissors lying on the desk and books placed in the bookshelves came flying, having turned this way, one by one. I shoot down all of them, clearing the way. Unfortunately, in this situation, Elsie is not helpful. The moment I thought whether the poltergeist phenomenon was made quiet before long, in the corner of the room the armor covered in rust extracted its sword and started moving this way.
Blended with the downpouring heavy rain outside the window before one could notice it, a flash of lighting blinks, and the sound of thunder loudly roared in big volume.