Greg and Evie Lestrade, a couple famous for their love story, lived in a small, modest house just outside the centre of Westminster.
To commemorate the graduation of their only son, Chris, the couple held a ‘small, tight-knit party’ where only people close to them were invited.
“Madam, this party is not small at all…”
As Sally said, the modest house was filled to the brim with guests.
With great difficulty, we escaped from the muffled hall into a less cramped hallway.
“Mrs Evie is close with many people.”
She was known for her diligent participation in all kinds of charitable events, as well as social gatherings that ladies of similar statuses usually attended.
Often, people misunderstood that her frequent parties were to support her husband.
But as far as I know, her philanthropy has always been sincere.
‘I also have to greet Aunt Evie.’
Thanks to the sociable hostess, I was going to be very busy.
“But Madam, I was wondering how you knew that Mrs Blount had invested in real estate earlier Did you really hear so from her great-great-grandmother—”
“Sally, why are you like this” I wondered aloud.
“…Wouldn’t it be more difficult to find someone in this party who hasn’t invested in real estate”
At those words, Sally looked somewhat regretful.
“Ah… I thought Madam was able to talk spirits.”
“Do I really look like a medium” I replied tiredly.
My head felt heavy.
Being at a party always made me feel suffocated.
“I’m going to the terrace to get some fresh air,” I said, gesturing towards the passage leading to the terrace.
“Go get some rest, Sally.”
As Sally and I parted ways, I headed along the hallway to the terrace alone.
I was greeted by a refreshing gust of wind.
Under the starlit sky, a faint chirping of birds could be heard in the distance.
As I was looking at the peaceful night scene, my own words flowed out.
“…I’m so tired.”
I was always unsociable, so there was no wonder why I felt so uncomfortable here.
Why don’t I just greet the Lestrades and leave immediately
The moment I thought that, I felt a presence behind me.
Immediately, I turned my head to face the owner of the familiar and sweet scent that suddenly took over.
“The place beside you is unoccupied, I hope”
James Moriarty casually strode over to beside me.
I stared at the face looking ahead.
“Are you here to rest too”
The handsome blond man leaning against the patio railing with a mysterious look in his eyes.
The moonlight-dyed face shone brighter than usual and the sharp features felt as if a great sculptor had carved them meticulously.
The owner of the gorgeous face that moved elegantly spoke to me.
“I would be lying if I said yes.”
“What is the reason then”
“…Would you not like it if I told you I wanted to be with you”
Was it because of his sincere, undisguised words
James’ light blue eyes, which were usually so cold and far away, seemed to glow faintly with warmth.
“No, why would I feel that way”
After hesitating for a moment, James answered my words.
“Ah… why Would you like it if we were closer”
“…Are you trying to make a joke”
James accepted my response as if it was absurd and burst out laughing.
When he spoke, it was with a comfortable smile.
“I’m not sure anymore.”
“So you’re not sure why you decided to follow me.”
At my words, James nodded quietly.
After being silent for a few moments, he muttered softly.
“It’s weird… I usually take utmost caution to never do anything I am not sure about.”
I unintentionally looked at him when he said those words.
Our gazes met, and I noticed that his face seemed redder than usual.
“I really… …I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
I did not know how to reply to his words.
For a moment, silence enveloped the terrace.
A residential area in London at night was far from romantic, perhaps like a bleak and old painting in a dusty frame.
Even so, I felt that there was something intimate in the atmosphere.
“It’s a damn sight every time I see it, this city of beggars.”
Laughter, along with profane language erupted from his glistening lips, as if his words were coming from his heart without a single obstacle.
My lips curled on their own as I looked at him.
“You must have been born in the higher-end London.”
“Emily, you agree with me, right”
The moment our gazes met again, we burst into laughter.
Despite being alone with a man who killed me twice, I felt rather relaxed.
“My parents used to live in the West End.” James started.
The West End was where London’s upper class lives.
It was one of the most luxurious parts of London.
James Moriarty continued the story of his parents, who were in an arranged marriage, in a soft voice.
“My father always put the honour of the Moriarty family first.
To him, reputation and status meant everything.”
However, the image has been tarnished for a while after James’ parents were dishonourably killed.
It was later restored by James who took up the family title.
To put it mildly, ‘Moriarty’ was a prestigious family with considerable wealth and a long tradition.
“I’ve never seen them arguing or having a friendly conversation.
They treated each other like business partners.”
As I continued to intently listen to him, I was shocked that out of all people, James Moriarty would confide in me about his past.
He spoke for a long time, and finally, the part where he lost his parents came.
“Perhaps…” I asked impulsively.
“…Can you tell me how your parents died”
At that, James turned his head to face me.
In that brief moment of waiting for his answer, I could hear my heart in my ears.
But I had an important reason to ask that question.
The flashback I had seen when I regressed after being killed by Glaaki.
I wanted to check if it was really an illusion, or if it was the ‘past’ I couldn’t remember.
That vision had refused to leave my thoughts ever since I had first seen it.
…It was because more than half of the ‘Pandora’s box’ of forbidden memories was already open.
“…If that’s what you want, Emily.” James softly spoke about things he had never revealed to anyone.
“You are already aware of Enoch Bowen, the founder of the Church of Starry Wisdom, I assume.”
When I nodded my head, he continued.
“Do you know what his first action was after he founded that cult”
There was an incident that had been in discussion and gossip for a long time because of its shocking impact.
…It was none other than the case of ‘human sacrifice’.
“My parents were one of the victims of that incident.”
There were no words I could say.
‘There were James’ parents among those kidnapped by the Church and sacrificed on the altar!’
The ‘human sacrifice’ case was featured in every form of media imaginable for over a month.
It aroused both fear and curiosity at the same time.
What could I say to someone who had lost his parents in such a horrific tragedy
When I couldn’t answer because of the lump in my throat, James burst out laughing.
“Don’t look at me like that, Emily.
If you look at me with those sympathetic eyes…”
James’ beautiful face came close.
I couldn’t push him away, but I couldn’t bring myself to move away either.
I was used to his intimidating and unapproachable side.
Perhaps it was because it was the first time I had seen him look so despondent, but…
“I mean— I want to lean on you, I want to tell you everything— It’s not like me.”
The low-pitched voice that sounded almost sad was inches away from me.
Realising that, I suddenly grew nervous.
My chest tightened and I could feel my face heating up.
Slowly, James Moriarty’s gorgeous face drew closer.
Unexpectedly, I felt a delicate touch on the back of my hand.
James kissed the back of my hand and took a step back.
“… … !”
I open my eyes to the unexpected and look up at him.
Seeing my expression, James grinned.
“What’s with that face, were you expecting something else”
…I was speechless, but his voice continued.
“Emily, to be honest,”
“What is it”
“It’s the first time I’ve ever told anyone about the death of my parents.”
Though I was still shocked, I quickly grew serious.
“You… How did you endure it”
My question was not just because of my curiosity about the vision I saw anymore, but also because I genuinely understood his feelings.
I lost my parents as a child as well, so I too had to endure their absence in some way.
“Well, the doctors said I was extremely emotionally dull.”
“To be more precise, it’s an almost pathological inability to empathize with other people’s feelings.”
At those words, I suddenly remembered a familiar word used in the modern era.
‘Sociopath’, a person who cannot empathize with people.
“But why are you curious about that”
…The whirlpool of emotions that suddenly sprang up within me obstructed my words.
I spoke with some hesitation.
“I too, sometimes…”
Randolph’s sudden death.
A lot of strange things that cannot be understood by reason.
If there is a God, I want to complain and appeal to him at the same time, I want to ask him to rethink my wretched and cursed fate.
“There are times when it’s hard to endure all this without going crazy.”
Or perhaps, honestly—
Maybe I’m already crazy.
However, these traumatic things will just be pushed into the depths of my mind.
My heart raced as James Moriarty looked at my face silently.
It was also the first time I had brought this up to anyone other than Randolph and Helena.
…I would never have even dreamed that the person I told after so long would be James Moriarty, a man who killed me twice, a criminal among criminals.
— — —
A medium is a person claiming to be in contact with the spirits of the dead, with the ability to establish contact between the dead and the living.
It’s a word that will appear somewhat often in the new arc.
Who do you think the male lead is With the amount of attention he’s getting, I don’t think James is too much of a far fetched answer.