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It was dawn when everyone went to bed. Elisha carefully rose from her bed.
All-night castle was what they called the Cartier family’s main residence. They lead a life twice as long as other people.
This was because the permanently shining spirit light stone, which did not turn off even at night, illuminated the entire mansion.
It was a mercy that was not given to the small separate building, where the lowest-class of indentured servants like Elisha lived. Elisha pulled out her candlestick from under the bed.
The girls in the same room as Elisha were silently asleep. Occasionally, only someone’s snoring occurred.
Elisha couldn’t even afford to change clothes. It would make a big commotion. It was a big deal when someone woke up to someone’s noise, which usually stirred the others up. Elisha wore Lucerne’s cloak upon her shoulders. She was planning on using the excuse of returning his cloak as an excuse to speak to Lucerne.
Elisha stood outside the room, wearing pajamas under her cloak.
She only took the pages she needed, and the notebook documenting memories of her past life were thrown into the wall stove, consumed by fire.
Tiptoeing, she reached the annex entrance, which was locked outside with a triple lock, where even a rat could not escape.
‘If my memory is correct… … .’
Elisha gained the knowledge of many secrets while working in the mansion of the Cartier family, and that included the buildings on their estate. The same was true of the structure of the annex.
‘I heard that Lucerne always stays in the room where he grew up when he comes to the estate.’
It was said that Lucerne had been treated poorly as a child and grew up in a room near the shabby stairs.
One day, Jacob’s now-deceased father visited Lucerne one day, saying that he would fix Lucerne’s habits, and locked him in the room for days.
Even now, when he was an established and proven military commander with an esteemed status, he stayed only in that room. And it was like that in the future.
‘Lucerne, are you staying there to protest me?’
There was a time when the head of the Cartier family went berserk and shouted at Lucerne out of anger right before he collapsed. The uproar was quite a big event, so she knew where he stayed.
The problem was that Elisha couldn’t just walk and knock on the door just because she knew about Lucerne’s location.
Lucerne… … . was an illegitimate child, but he was a Cartier. In the Cartier world, beings like Elisha were ones who could easily lose their tongues just by uttering a mistake to Lucerne. That was his status in the Cartier family.
‘If Lucerne kills me tonight… … . . He’ll have to pay Jacob compensation.’
Perhaps Lucerne would not be charged with murder but for hurting his cousin’s property.
‘I still have to do it.’
Elisha thought calmly.
‘If I miss this opportunity to sell him the information, he will also end up regretting it.’
The Cartier family was a gold-crazy family that would do whatever it took to make money. In their determination to distribute and sell all the goods around the world, Elisha learned a lot.
‘The Cartier family is a merchant family. I learned a little from them.’
A good merchant knew how to sell even if they had nothing. A dance between fraud and gain with a silver tongue. Elisha learned how to speak like a merchant.
She killed the noise of her footsteps and went up the stairs of the second-floor hall.
‘Please, let my memory be correct, please be here… … .’
Just above the stairs on the second floor, there was a huge painting over the living space. Elisha illuminated it with a candle.
The white snakes were twisted like lustful human bodies.
Then, there was a black serpent in the middle, twice as long and twice as big as the other snakes. Its mouth was spread wide, its fangs shown and its head raised as if ready to strike and eat the other snakes.
The title of that one was ‘Head*’. (As in head of the household)
‘Did you know? Ghosts live in this mansion. You can hear the sounds of ghosts roaming, stomping beyond the wall.’
During the first day of arriving here, the girl who showed her around told her this. A long time ago, this shabby villa was said to be the place where a most beloved wife committed suicide.
Elisha, in the past, didn’t know the rumors or what this painting meant. But now Elisha knew the secret; she tapped the black snake.
Creak, a very small sound was heard beyond the picture. Elisha sighed. After this, she had to be more careful… … . Elisha pushed the image.
Then there was an open black space, a hidden secret passage.
‘There, there. I remembered it right’.
Elisha quickly leaned into the narrow passage and entered. Soon the aisle door was closed.
The long narrow passage was like the inside of an endless serpent. Elisha slowly lit the surroundings with her candlelight. There was a smell of damp water and something rancid.
‘Why, and who made this secret passage?’
Even though the future Elisha accidentally found the secret passage in the mansion, the question was not resolved at that time or now. But the answer was easy to imagine.
‘Because this is an ancient mansion… … ,’
Some nobles made escape passages in case of emergency. It was said that there were many secret passages that were transmitted only through the mouths of the heads of the household. Because they were transmitted so secretly, many secret passages were forgotten by the owner.
Elisha walked carefully through the dark aisle, holding the hem of her pajamas and wearing a cape on her shoulder.
In her previous life, Elisha trembled every time she walked through this passage, but today, Elisha did not. She walked this passageway as though she was very familiar with it.
You can read unedited advance chapters here.