Emily hurriedly opened the book.
It was filled with ancient symbols that a modern person couldn’t read, but…
James shook his head and approached her.
“It is nothing more than a decorative book.”
Yes, it was a meaningless, decorative book he got his hands on while trying to track down a cult.
According to the archaeologist who was commissioned for the book’s appraisal, it only contained scribbles that looked like actual text.
“I heard it’s quite popular in the occult world, which is why I have it.
Isn’t it interesting”
Unlike normal religions, cults relied on abstract doctrines while ignoring reality.
Cults often used these “holy artifacts” to strengthen the faith of their believers.
“I heard cultists are able to feel at ease with these… Emily”
Her head turned, but her gaze wasn’t focused on James himself.
She spoke in a monotone voice.
“The King in Yellow… You took it from me.”
The King in Yellow.
James’s eyes widened.
“The power to determine one’s dreams…”
There were a few things the archaeologist had said. “If there was anything noteworthy about it, I suppose there is the symbol on the back of this book.”
Concerned, James felt his heart pound.
He watched Emily mumble to herself, touching the back of the book.
“…and the power to escape from a dream.”
“It is the symbol of the King in Yellow, He Who Is Not To Be Named, Hastur.” As soon as the archeologist’s words rang in James Moriarty’s head, Emily’s body began to shake.
She fell to the floor with a thud.
And after being unconscious for about 30 minutes, she woke up with no memory of what had happened earlier.
Recalling that time, James Moriarty observed Emily silently.
Now she was fine.
Emily, if you’re truly the descendant of a druid…
He still had his suspicions.
Why did you react in such a way to that symbol
“Stop teasing me, Sally.
This isn’t a good situation to be in.” I shook my head.
“What do you mean Isn’t it what every woman dreams about”
The hint went right over Sally’s head.
She grinned and gestured to Mr.
“He’s a perfect gentleman, but he’s like a beast in front of the woman he loves.”
…Speaking of which, Mr.
Henry did take after the character from Strange Case of Dr.
Jekyll and Mr.
Hyde in some aspects.
Sally’s gaze turned to Baron Moriarty.
“Then we have a man famous for his blue-blooded heritage.
He is polite and a lover of the arts, but he hides his dark, innermost thoughts behind a pretty smile.”
I wanted to groan, but I made sure it wasn’t obvious on my face.
Sally continued, “And now, where does Jimmy fit into all of this”
I listened to her assessment.
“If the other two represent masculinity and decadence respectively, Jimmy is the lively, cute younger man.
Maybe the twist can be he’s actually a woman dressed as a man”
Sally answered with a chuckle.
“I was kidding.
You may not like to hear it all the time, but Jimmy is so pretty.”
Sally, you could be a fortune-teller.
I whispered into Jimmy’s ear.
“Why did you get involved”
He shrugged and grinned.
“I just wanted to have fun with the boys.”
In fact, shortly after the incident, I told Jimmy about Willy’s death.
I chose my words carefully, but he was still shocked.
“No, Willy has to be… I’m sure of it.
He was having a hard time believing the sad news about his friend who had left.
Not long after that, after receiving an obituary from Willy’s family, he could no longer deny it.
“Emily, you were right.”
So Jimmy went to his friend’s funeral, and even after returning, he grabbed me and wept for a while.
He looked okay at the moment.
No, he wasn’t okay, but he seemed to be trying to accept his friend’s death.
“Jimmy, tell me if you need a moment.
Every time I said that, Jimmy just smiled and said he was fine… I think I have no choice but to be around when he needed me.
I spoke to the two men who were still glaring at each other.
The two of them slowly looked at me, both appearing unhappy.
Henry spoke first.
“Are you on a first-name basis with him When did—”
“Hush, Henry… Yes, what is it” James interrupted him.
I didn’t know why, but he looked particularly annoyed by the situation.
However, I couldn’t afford to let their squabble continue.
We weren’t here to play.
Perhaps it was why my tone came out a little sharp.
“Is this really important People are going missing.”
…James Moriarty was the one who brought it up.
“I heard there was a very suspicious masquerade in London that’s held once a month.”
While investigating the Living and Moving Statues, he was informed about some strange deeds done by the followers of the Church of Starry Wisdom.
An aristocrat who was a personal acquaintance of the cult’s religious leader, Enoch Bowen, was hosting a monthly ball for a while.
There was a strange rumor going around that was popular among some socialites.
“They say some of the attendees went missing, mainly young women who are considered nobodies, like rookie actresses or servants.”
The Metropolitan Police were also aware of this, but the investigation was difficult to carry out because of the lack of evidence and suspects.
Which meant… we’d go in there ourselves.
I was invited to this ball with the help of Helena, who was a socialite.
I was getting ready to leave to go to the location in question tomorrow.
Henry and Baron Moriarty were arguing with each other about who would be my partner.
Looking between the two who didn’t say anything, I said, “I’m going with Jimmy.
I won’t take any objections.”
“Hurray!” Jimmy exclaimed excitedly.
Before the two could try and change my mind, I said, “Let’s get going to the Brichester mansion… What, are you going with us or not”
Looking rather pathetic, both men backed down.
I figured we’d be fine.
Thinking back on it now, we didn’t know anything.
Because of this incident, one of us became seriously injured and was on the border between life and death.
Another went mad, unable to break free from it.
As for me.
I died twice.
“Now we’re off.”
The carriage started with the neighing of a horse.
Our destination, the Brichester mansion, was located in a suburb not far from central London.
Even inside the rattling carriage, Sally spoke in a bright voice.
“The coachman says we’ll be there in less than an hour.”
“It’s not too far away.
I’ll take a nap.”
I closed my eyes and leaned against the window.
I began to think about… the Brichester mansion we were heading to now.
According to Helena’s investigation, the mansion, built around a hundred years ago, was representative of the Gothic style that was popular at the time.
It was a reconstruction of an old building, and the first owner was a lord who owned a nearby manor.
“…And within a few years of living in this mansion, his heir died suddenly.
Both the lord and his wife began to suffer from an unknown disease.”
“It’s like a family curse, huh”
There was Helena’s calm explanation and Sally’s cheerful response.
As I said, after the first owner left the mansion, who had “disappeared”, the Brichester mansion found a new owner.
…Although it was only temporary.
“The owner changes every two years” Sally was curious.
“Yes, and the cause is also very strange.
For some reason, he dies suddenly or has a change of heart.” Helena told the story about how one of the previous owners was struck by lightning.
…Basically, this mansion was cursed.
“What about the owner now Isn’t Mr.
Bridel a very active person in society”
Helena nodded in response to Sally’s comment; after all, Sally heard all sorts of things while working at a luxury hotel.
“Yes, he bought the house ten years ago and has owned it ever since.”
At the time, it was said that everyone who saw him asked why he wanted to buy the cursed mansion.
However, the infamy of the Brichester mansion was almost forgotten by everyone…
“Thanks to the monthly masquerade that started three years ago, perhaps.”
The event, hosted by Mr.
Birdel, was one where only a select few were invited and said to be more popular than expected.
A splendid, luxurious ball in a dismal, Gothic mansion.
It wasn’t known what happened at the ball because the guests weren’t allowed to talk about it.
“They say one can reach the height of pleasure and luxury.”
“…Does he use any illegal drugs Ones that cause hallucinations for example.”
When I spoke, Helena and Sally were stunned.
Of course, the Puritans or Anglicans of the 19th century would see it as blasphemous.
For me who had memories of a more modern society, it was a logical conclusion.
“If you can’t forget the pleasure and want to be invited back, isn’t it obvious what would happen”
Sally was struggling to put her thoughts to words, and Helena was shaking her head.
“That’s not the only thing weird about this mansion.”
There was a huge, artificial pond, and the first owner put his heart and soul into building it.
…There was an urban legend that a mysterious, unknown creature lived in it.