The sky over the Brichester mansion was cloudy as always.
Unlike the smog-filled London, it was because of the mist coming up from the huge pond next to the mansion.
On cold days, the cold moisture even chilled the bones of the elderly.
“…It’s so bleak all the time.” Abigail clicked her tongue and looked out the window.
The pond was too small for a lake yet too large compared to other ponds.
It was very strange that no animals lived near or in the pond.
The water itself was far from transparent.
It was filled with strange substances and always cloudy.
If someone got close to the pond, they’d notice an awful stench.
The shiny, light green water was reminiscent of gelatin.
Bridel said something ridiculous like the pond being the identity of the Brichester mansion.
Abigail and the other workers were well aware… Underneath that pond, something terrible existed.
“Staring at it is giving me goosebumps.” Abigail, imagining what might be below the water’s surface, shuddered.
In addition, she didn’t know why the employees who had a room near the pond suffered from nightmares.
“Abby, did you hear Mrs.
She didn’t last a month.”
There were more and more people quitting because of the never-ending nightmares.
Abigail glanced at the pond, then got dressed and left her room.
It’s the same as before. As soon as she entered the hallway, the humid air filled her lungs.
At a steadfast pace, she headed to the wine cellar. Of all things, I’m in charge of the wine cellar.
The responsibility itself wasn’t hard.
All a person had to do was stop by, take the bottles of wine from the employees, and deliver them to the kitchen.
If there was one reason why everyone avoided this simple task…
Abigail walked down the creaking, wooden stairs to the cellar.
It contained all the wine that was used in the mansion.
Every single drop that went from those bottles to a glass was then drunk.
The room, with only a few sources of light turned on, was dimly lit.
“Hello, it’s my turn today,” Abigail said.
She didn’t want to go any further, but she had no choice.
As she reached the bottom of the stairs, a mysterious, rotten stench pricked her nose.
“Ugh…” Abigail pinched her nose.
She looked around; smelling that odor made her confused for a second, but then she was surprised by “their” appearance.
They groaned and flailed their arms around.
Each one looked like any other maid or servant if you ignored a few things like…
The pale face.
Limbs moving in the wrong direction.
And those bloodshot eyes.
Noticing Abigail’s presence, they slowly walked toward her.
Their movements were bizarre.
Instead of moving each limb individually, it was as if their arms and legs were controlled by invisible strings.
They’re like the marionettes I saw when I was young.
The most terrible thing about them was their eyes.
At first glance, it wasn’t any different from a normal person’s, but if you looked closely, you’d notice their gaze wasn’t focused.
The pupils didn’t move.
There were around ten employees in all of the Brichester mansion.
Abigail was said to be tasked with retrieving wine from the cellar even before she officially started working here.
“They’re just normal people, Abby.
They just don’t speak properly or look nice.”
Recalling Mary’s words, Abigail mustered up her courage, but it wasn’t easy. No matter how many times it happens, how can you still be fine after seeing them
It wasn’t as shocking as the first time.
Nevertheless, it was still terrible and bizarre.
She felt her heart beating faster whether it was out of an instinctual fear or disgust.
She managed to open her mouth, barely suppressing the urge to get out as soon as possible.
“You have to give me today’s supply of wine…”
Even though she told herself to be brave, her voice was barely above a squeak.
Among the bodies, someone came out scurrying with two bottles of wine.
“He… He… Here’s…”
Yes, some of them could speak the human language.
Abigail gulped and waited for her to hand over the wine.
This is why I didn’t want to come here.
The Brichester mansion was famous for its generous pay to its workers.
Despite that, the employees kept changing, and they were always short-handed.
It was because the existence of these individuals was known through word of mouth among the employees. It’s terrible. Abigail couldn’t figure out why they were like that or if they were being controlled by something, and she didn’t want to know.
She wanted to get out of here as soon as possible.
I’m not even overreacting.
At least Abigail did her duties even when she hated it.
Some refused to go down to the wine cellar.
“You want me to go where the cursed people are”
“If I walk in there, a ghost will haunt me for the rest of my life!”
Even if the head maid or butler criticized them, they’d rather take a cut in their salary than actually go down to the cellar.
I should take this and leave already. Fortunately, there were only two bottles of wine.
It was a rare variety only available in the Brichester mansion.
Abigail heard it was for drinking or entertaining guests of Mr.
Bridel, the owner of the mansion.
The moment Abigail quickly turned around after receiving the wine from a drooling employee.
Something clamped onto her wrist.
She looked back, startled.
“Soon, soon, we will have a ball…”
The employee who handed over the wine had grabbed Abigail’s wrist… With a hand that was mostly bone with a thin layer of skin hanging on it.
“Hey, let go!”
The employee continued to murmur.
“New, full of food, masks, ball, ball…”
“Leave me alone!” Abigail shook off the hand and ran out with all her might.
Running while not looking back, she could feel the liquid in the wine bottle slosh around.
The bloodshot eyes of the employee who grabbed her didn’t disappear from Abigail’s mind.
She groaned and shuddered.
The masquerade at the Brichester mansion.
Every employee hated it.
To everyone else outside of the mansion, it was an event where one could reach the highest highs of pleasure and luxury.
Meanwhile, they knew it would be a horrible time.
For her, the eldest out of six sons and six daughters, a ball was something she couldn’t even dream of.
Moreover, this was a “real” ball attended by the upper class.
Normally, servants were stuck with the role of providing their services in other places.
I never imagined I had this kind of luck.
Her employer, Emily, would be very embarrassed to hear that Sally Melbourne was ecstatic to have such an opportunity while trying to find evil spirits and monsters.
She gazed in awe at the two women in front of her, who had finished changing.
Emily was dressed up as Queen Elizabeth in her youth, with ruffs and all.
Sally’s eyes sparkled, seeing her wear the long, satin gown and colorful jewelry.
“Ma’am, you’re so pretty.”
“Thank you.” Emily then frowned.
“But how did Her Majesty wear this It’s only been a few hours and I feel like my back is about to break.”
Helena grinned as Emily complained that the dress was too heavy and uncomfortable.
“That is the weight of the crown a ruler must bear.”
“What are you talking about Kings never had to wear a corset much less a farthingale.”
Sally looked at Helena, who was dressed like an Indian with her blue sari.
Perhaps because of her gypsy blood, the Indian dress suited Helena perfectly.
It was amazing to see her wear golden bangles on both arms and have a colored dot called a bindi on her forehead.
“Helena is beautiful too.”
“Thank you, Sally.” Helena smiled gracefully.
Her gaze flitted between Sally and Emily before she showed them the notice given by the organizers of the event.
“Before we leave, remember that Mr.
Birdel’s masquerade has rules.”
The Brichester Masquerade is held for three days and only happens at night.
You are not allowed to contact other guests without a mask except for your own people.
You may ask the servants for food and refreshments at any time, and you can freely walk around the mansion.
However, access to the pond after 10 P.M.
is strictly prohibited.
Please understand that you can only drink the Brichester wine during the masquerade.