“Sherlock Holmes is a young private detective I’m friends with.”
Private detectives in the 19th century were different from 21st-century detectives, whose main tasks were usually to collect evidence of infidelity.
‘Private detectives’ supplement the shortage of detectives and assist them.
“Sherlock is unrivalled among them. I don’t understand why he doesn’t want to be a full-fledged detective, but he’s drawn a clear line that he’s only acting as an ‘Investigative Advisor’.”
Inspector Lestrade’s gaze turned again to the doorway, that is, towards Moriarty, who was outside.
“Sherlock said that he and Moriarty were college alumni.”
…I hadn’t known that.
“While he never referred to him as a villain, Sherlock was always wary of Moriarty.”
“Well, I’m not sure how this would sound to you, Emily, but… There’s a thing called ‘a stereotypical villain’, right?”
Sherlock Holmes had a great talent for analyzing the personality and behavioural patterns of criminals.
What he observed was that Baron Moriarty had all the typical characteristics of an ‘intelligent criminal’.
“I once asked for an opinion on a case involving Baron Moriarty, and Sherlock urged me to be vigilant.”
Inspector Lestrade looked into my eyes with those words.
As I nodded, the captain’s voice continued.
“Of course, this is only my friend’s opinion, and I have no intention of meddling in your relationship. But just…”
He coughed a couple of times and then continued awkwardly.
“I can’t replace your father, so why don’t you think of it as an old man’s nagging?”
“…Yes, thank you.”
Is it because I can feel the sincere warmth in his voice?
When I answered with a slightly choked feeling, the inspector muttered with regretful eyes.
“If your father hadn’t been involved in that case, by now…”
“…What do you mean by ‘that case’?”
“Why, that incident?”
Inspector Lestrade spoke calmly as if telling me things that I already know.
About the horrific tragedy that ‘took my parents’ life’.
I couldn’t keep up.
Didn’t my parents die in a wagon accident? But why…
“Can’t you remember, Emily? I wasn’t an inspector at that time, so I don’t know all the details.”
“…No, I remember.”
However, looking back carefully at my memories, the inspector’s words were correct.
‘My aunt told me everything.’
Aunt Marilyn was a person who believed that the only way to heal a wound was to expose it rather than hiding it.
It was no exception for me as a child, so my aunt told me all the truth.
“Emily, do you remember your father’s study of cults during his lifetime?”
My father was teaching at a university as a professor of mythology when the cult he was studying caused a horrific incident.
My parents were also involved in it and lost their lives.
‘But why did I remember it differently?’
It’s understandable if I forget trivial facts.
But I don’t understand how I confused the memories of my parents’ deaths.
‘…Why is my memory messed up…?’
Is this the effect of all my deaths and regressions?
However, my parents passed away a long time ago, and it was only a few years ago that I became the apostle of the King in Yellow.
I was so shocked that I couldn’t find any words.
The inspector soon changed the subject, as if he had interpreted my silence in a different way.
“Emily, I know you are busy, but when will you stop by my house? Evie wants to see you too.”
The lieutenant’s wife, Mrs Lestrade, also cared for me like her own daughter.
“Chris is coming back from college soon, and he plans to throw a party then. If you are okay with it, I will send you a formal invitation.”
“Of course, thank you for inviting me.”
“I’m glad you’re okay with it. Then, by the way…”
His warm face, like an uncle who adores his niece, disappeared in an instant, and the sharp gaze of a veteran police officer took its place.
“Can I take a tour of the site?”
* * *
Immediately after leaving the drawing room, we ran into a very uncomfortable person.
“Oh, who is this?”
With the sound of elegant footsteps that were somehow chilly–
Baron James Moriarty walked straight toward us.
Inspector Lestrade stood tall in his appearance and spoke in a blunt voice.
“Long time no see, Baron Moriarty.”
“Yeah, it’s been a while too… Greg.”
Unlike the Inspector, who was clearly nervous, James had a kind attitude.
If it weren’t for the curled-up corner of his lips, it would make one think that he had met a real friend.
“I don’t think we are close enough to call each other by our first names.”
While keeping a distance, from the commander’s provocative words, James shrugged his shoulders.
“Is that so? Since we met again, I thought our friendship would naturally blossom.”
“We saw each other often, but none of us saw it as something to like very much, did we? That business looked like it was clean, but in fact, it was reported that they were dealing with contraband.”
Despite the Inspector’s harsh response, James still kept a smile on his face.
“In the end, didn’t it turn out that they weren’t?”
“It’s just that we could not find any evidence. They haven’t been proven innocent.”
Inspector Lestrade’s attitude was clearly hostile.
“However, we found evidence that there was tax evasion using double ledgers, and the business was frequently in contact with criminals in the back alleys.”
James’ eyes, who had been silent for a moment, suddenly turned cold.
At the moment when the inspector’s men, who were waiting in front of the parlour door, flinched and retreated, James spoke again.
“I thought you were aware of the fact that that business only borrowed my name, and the actual operator was my cousin?”
Lestrade’s face hardened at the sudden change of tone.
James immediately looked at me with a nonchalant look on his face.
“Emily, how did you two get to know each other?”
“‘Emily’? Emily, perhaps, are you and the baron…”
When I met the eyes of the two men full of curiosity, I let out a sigh without realizing it.
“Don’t jump to conclusions, Uncle Greg.”
“‘Uncle Greg’?” James asked.
I briefly explained both relationships to both of them.
Inspector Greg Lestrade was an old friend of my father, and Baron James Moriarty was assisting me in the research of my new novel.
…They both didn’t seem to like my explanation, but it was true, wasn’t it?
Inspector Lestrade, who looked back at me and James as if he didn’t approve, whispered in my ear.
“Emily, that…If you want, Evie can introduce you to a good young man.”
I knew it would be like this
I shook my head and nodded slightly.
“I don’t want that, uncle.”
“I’m grateful for your concern, but…”
Just then, I saw Sir Henry walking from the end of the hallway.
“Oh, Henry! Please allow me to introduce someone.”
I quickly grabbed him and introduced Inspector Lestrade.
“This is Inspector Greg Lestrade, an old friend of my late father.”
Sir Henry was startled, and with the utmost respect, he asked Inspector Lestrade to shake his hand.
“Good day, my name is Henry Jekyll Langham.”
“Oh, I’ve heard a lot about Sir Langham.”
Inspector Lestrade was hesitantly conversing with Sir Henry.
‘There’s something about Greg’s atmosphere…’
He looked like a father who met his daughter’s boyfriend on the street.
I hold back my laughter at that awkward scene.
James Moriarty, who was standing still, muttered as if he didn’t like it.
“I’m going to go see…Greg, see you next time.”
James turned around. Before walking past me, he grabbed my arm lightly.
Frowning and turning to the side, his eyes softly curved and a sweet smile appeared.
“…Only the man and woman involved can understand what their relationship is, right?”
I missed the right time to answer those words. James winked lightly, then turned and walked away.
Shortly after James Moriarty left, Inspector Lestrade went straight to the point, as a veteran with many years of experience.
“I’ll start by exploring this mansion.”
While Inspector Lestrade went about his way, I asked Helena some things I was curious about.
As expected, she knew quite a bit about ‘Glaaki’ and his minions.
“In mythology, these things are often referred to as ‘Apostles of Glaaki’.”
I flinched at the appearance of a familiar word.
“Glaaki stabbed humans with the thorns on the tip of their tentacles and made them its servants. The ‘Apostles’ made by this method become living corpses, with their minds being controlled by Glaaki.”
“They are unaffected by any weapon attacks, but are very weak to intense light and fire.”
As soon as they are exposed to sunlight or fire, their skin begins to shed.
The deformed corpse soon turns into dust.
‘Intense light and fire.’
It was only now understood why they kept to themselves secretly in the cellar.
I thanked Helena and immediately informed Inspector Lestrade.
“The employees said that they are trapped in the basement because they’re weak against light.”
Despite the seemingly strange remarks, the captain’s demeanour was just as serious.
It seems that he also encountered numerous ‘phenomena that cannot be explained by reason and logic’ while tracking the events of the cult.
“Then…Can I talk to an employee?”
After a while.
The Inspector managed to persuade Miss Abigail with his excellent eloquence.
Abigail pondered for a moment and handed the key to the cellar.
‘Uhm… Inspector…There is something you must know.’
The solution she had informed Sally of was as such:
“Before entering the cellar, you must soak your body in Brichester wine.”
Because the wine is familiar to the living corpses in the cellar, they do not recognize the intruder as an ‘enemy’.
James and Jimmy were attacked before I returned because the corpses perceived them to be enemies.
Inspector Lestrade and I headed straight to the basement with all information and evidence in our hands. We had Brichester wine on our bodies and a torch and lantern in our hands.
Greg Lestrade, upon witnessing the terrible undead apostles standing on the borderline between the realm and the underworld, seemed to be truly speechless.
‘Emily, I’ve come across these bizarre creatures countless times.’
Before I could get a chance to doubt the words he had said before, he quickly regained his composure and approached the apostles.
Upon raising the lantern high, all four directions were brightly lit, igniting the grotesque creatures.
Bright red flames fluttered their tongues and quickly swallowed up the bodies of the undead apostles.
After that, we headed inside.
‘There it is.’
A strange, terrifying tentacle creature wriggling in a glass tank.
Those that grow in water and produce some sort of hallucinogen, are the ones that, after all, cannot live without water.
“Emily, that weird thing–”
Before Greg Lestrade could finish, I picked up the pistol I had brought and aimed it.
With a resounding bang, the bullet hit the glass tank.
The glass shattered into a million pieces with a sharp sound.
As the water in the tank rushed through the broken glass, I grabbed Greg and led him to the doorway.
“Let’s get out of here, uncle. This place will be flooded soon.”
The moment the two of us safely left the basement door, the King in Yellow’s voice was heard in a timely manner.
“My faithful apostle, Emily Carter,”
“Owing to your efforts, the destruction of the world has been delayed by 28 days.”
— — —
TN Note: It’s been so long T-T there were some issues with translating this chapter. I’ll do my best to stick to the schedule from now on!