The time left till the end of the world was 40 days, but 28 days were added to it after the eradication of Glaaki.
‘That means that there are 68 days until the end of the world.’
I was relieved to hear that I had solved another case.
I pretended to be well and mentally sound in front of others, but in reality, I was exhausted.
‘For the others, the entire fiasco lasted around three or four days at most.’
However, because I died and regressed twice, it was around a week for me.
“I’ll take care of everything, so don’t worry, Emily.”
In the state of extreme fatigue, Uncle Greg’s words felt very reassuring.
‘I’m still a little worried, though.’
Those concerns soon turned out to be futile, to my great relief.
* * *
Two weeks after the events at the Brichester mansion, I serenely passed my days with Helena and my friends.
Later, I reassembled the events of the ‘Brichester Masquerade Incident’.
‘Uncle Greg took care of the post-processing perfectly.’
Greg Lestrade and I coated ourselves in ‘Brichester Wine’ and entered the cellar armed with torches and portable lanterns.
I ran into living corpses, the apostles of Glaaki, that were obviously not of this world.
There was no way anyone could convince themselves otherwise.
Due to the wine on our clothes, they did not recognise us as enemies.
Therefore, we got a chance to burn the undead to ashes with our torches.
‘I don’t want to recall those memories again.’
It was a sight reminiscent of the deepest parts of hell.
‘That disgusting smell emanating from the flesh melting grotesquely.’
The employees had turned to dust and dispersed into the air, leaving only a few bones behind.
They were examined by several experts assigned by Inspector Lestrade.
‘It turned out to be the skulls of the victims who were reported missing.’
Half of the cellar’s winemakers were originally mansion employees, and the other half were those who disappeared during the banquet.
Inspector Lestrade immediately obtained a warrant and attempted to arrest Lord Bridle.
‘My apologies, but my Master has refused to let anyone enter his room due to his failing health.’
Informing Uncle about the strict order to not to let anyone into the room, the butler reluctantly refused.
Inspector Lestrade ignored this and stormed into Lord Bridle’s private office.
…There, the body of Lord Bridle was found, days after he committed suicide by hanging.
Next to it lay a will, written in messy handwriting, as if the writer was not in a state of mind to think properly.
[I, Stanley Bridle, will welcome the great king…]
It was clear that Sir Bridle had been brainwashed by Glaaki.
In many ways, however, there were still uncertainties.
In his report to his superiors, Inspector Lestrade reported that only Lord Bridle was involved in this accident.
Of course, no one would believe that there was an unknown entity controlling the strings from the shadows.
After the case was closed, all the guests invited to the banquet and the mansion employees returned to their respective residences.
Of course, the Brichester mansion was completely abandoned.
However, James Moriarty wasn’t satiated by that alone.
‘It’s not enough to just close off this mansion from outsiders.’
He eventually bought the Brichester mansion and then demolished the entire building.
When I later asked why, James replied:
“Didn’t you say that something in the pond was brainwashing people”
In other words, since Glaaki needs a host to parasitize, all that had to be done was to not allow any hosts near it.
Thus, its power would weaken.
Even though it was the best option, there was no way for me to find a way to do it.
‘…James’ ability to not display the slightest hesitation in buying the whole mansion and destroying it without a care was at an unimaginable level.’
And at this moment:
“Oh my, look over there.”
“Isn’t that Sir Henry Langham”
“Beside him…Oh! Perhaps, Baron Moriarty”
“Ah, but who the hell is between them”
Inspector Lestrade’s wife, Mrs Evie, invited me to a party.
* * *
People glanced at me with not very subtle gestures.
“But why are these people… Ah, no way…”
Sally, who felt the atmosphere belatedly, spoke involuntarily and then shut her mouth.
Why were those people staring at me so tenaciously, that’s probably what she wanted to say.
‘The answer is obvious.’
There were two affluent men standing beside me.
Sir Henry Langham and Baron James Moriarty’s presence made everyone wonder just who was the one so delusional to stand between them.
And there was also…
‘I am well aware of my reputation in the cramped London social circle.’
While I was the most beautiful widow in London, among the so-called virtuous wives, ‘Emily Carter’ was an enemy.
The ideal image of a woman in this era is a ‘family woman’ who should properly raise children and provide spiritual support to her husband.
Though it seemed like a good cause, the hidden meaning was that before marriage, a woman belonged to her father, and after marriage, to her husband.
Because their property rights were not guaranteed, the position of a woman was extremely vulnerable.
‘However, even if I wear a veil, even if I make no sound and keep my head low, there would be no one who looks over the fact that I am surrounded by strangers because of my profession.
… By society’s standards, I fit the conditions of a ‘bad woman’ too perfectly.
Since I was already used to it, I casually passed the gazes and sarcasm around me, but Sally didn’t seem to like that.
“So insolent… Why are they so arrogant to Madam—”
“Don’t waste your energy on useless things, Sally.” I sighed.
Still, she groaned and looked around us with frustrated eyes.
…Perhaps thanks to Sally’s remarks, the gossip aimed at me was slightly lessened.
“Ahh, if only Lady Helena was here…”
She was right.
Today, Helena couldn’t come with me because of her hectic schedule.
Usually, I wasn’t spared a glance due to her presence.
“Oh my, Mrs Carter”
Then, a thorny voice spoke to me.
I turned around and saw a woman I had never seen before.
“Nice to meet you, isn’t this our first meeting I am Cordelia Blount.”
Nodding her head lightly, Mrs Blount continued with a strange smile.
“I’ve heard so much about your reputation.
Oh, everyone knows, right You are the ‘most beautiful widow in London’.”
…Ha, look at this.
I clicked my tongue subtly.
No matter how well-known my novels are, to these people I am not the horror writer Emily Carter, but the wife of the deceased Randolph Carter.
When I didn’t answer her, Mrs Blount continued.
“I’ve always wanted to approach the lady, but I never thought that I would see you here.
Why don’t you acquaint yourself with my friends”
Before I could even answer those words, all of a sudden, women of her age surrounded me.
Sally stumbled, but there was nothing she could do as a maid.
I turned to look at her, and then at Mrs Blunt, and smiled.
“Their presence rather bores me, but it’s alright.”
Mrs Blount had an angered face.
She quickly erased her embarrassment and spoke to the two men standing next to me.
Won’t the two of you give us a little space so that we can have a conversation between women”
Sir Henry said, ‘Ah, I’m sorry,’ and left immediately, but James’ expression was not good.
“Huh, this is so…”
As he turned to me, his eyes seemed to be asking ‘do you want me to leave’
“I’ll join you later, Baron.”
“…Then I’ll see you later.”
James Moriarty looked at me one more time and then strode out of the room.
Mrs Blount, who looked at his back, smiled bitterly.
“You are very popular, ‘Mrs.
Sally’s fury began once again, but I was too used to these provocations.
‘Of course, I’m sure you won’t mind if I pay you back with the same stupid words.’
If you deal with these people the wrong way, you can always get a headache.
And I know of a more effective way.
“But Mrs Blount, I recently heard…”
I said, deliberately staring at Cordelia Blunt, to be more precise, at an ‘over the shoulder’ angle.
I could see her startled eyes.
“Don’t bad things keep happening in your house these days”
Mrs Blount was taken by surprise at those words.
…The ‘Emily Carter’ that she’s heard of has first-hand experience in all sorts of psychic phenomena, which is why she is one of the most prolific writers of horror novels.
I continued speaking in a gloomy, nervous voice.
“The number of lizards roaming under the roof is increasing, isn’t it”
“Isn’t rust flowing from the water pipe all the time”
These two things were common to old houses built in the Victorian style.
Mrs Blount, however, was unaware of that.
“What, how the hell…”
She wasn’t the only one who exclaimed in surprise.
Her friends around her were also listening to me with round eyes.
“Oh my gosh, how do you…”
“That’s right, Mrs Blount said something like that last time…”
Here, I decided to put a wedge.
“Your great-grandmother asked me to tell you that if you invest any more in real estate, you will be on the road to ruin,” I said, obviously joking.
Immediately, Mrs Blount, whose face was already pale, staggered to the floor.
“Oh, Mrs Blount!”
“Ah, please help!”
Her followers flocked around her as she became dizzy with shock.
“Sally, let us leave.”
As the chaos around us grew, Sally and I left the scene leisurely.