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EHM Chapter 35

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Just as Abigail was about to back off, Sally quickly added:

“No, actually, my Madam is very interested in the wine here. Since you’re in the wine business, I’m sure you know many things about it.”

“But why me…”

“Abby, we maids– we’re in the same position. Isn’t it hard to work as a maid in such a remote place?”

“…”

Abigail’s eyes flickered for a moment.

Sally was well aware where her weak points were.

“It is widely known that Sir Bridle’s winemaking methods are well-hidden secrets. And my Madam… She is very curious about that.”

“…”

“The wine cellar is a place where no one can enter except insiders. Abby, if you just sneak in…”

Sally whispered into Abigail’s ear.

“My madam can write letters of introduction to the aristocrats of central London asking them to write to you. She can also promise you a large monetary reward.”

This wasn’t an improvisation, it was part of what Emily had promised.

“Oh my…”

Abigail retreated in surprise, but Sally was confident that her strategy would work.

‘This kind of deal is best for someone like Abby.’

As Sally was aware, women living in London were always in a hurry for money.

Even if one worked all day, the pay was only enough to barely provide food, clothing, and shelter.

So it went without saying that maid jobs that provide room and board were heavily sought. But, to enter a mansion, one needed a letter of recommendation from a trusted person.

Unfortunately, obtaining a letter of recommendation without personal connections was as difficult as stargazing at noon.

In the Brichester household, the employees are changed often. It causes a shortage of workers because everyone avoids the cursed mansion.

Abby didn’t like this place either, but it was hard to find another job so she had no better option.

But what if she was promised to not only be introduced to a job but to also gain a large amount of money?

There could be no better offer than that.

“Are you really serious?”

Abigail’s eyes were already shining with hope. 

“If you don’t believe me, I’ll help you meet my Madam.”

Sally knew that she had almost convinced her, but decided to drop more information to make sure even so.

Abigail stared at Sally as if to confirm the truth, and then spoke in a determined manner.

“Then I agree. But there’s a condition.”

“What is it?”

“I’ll tell you everything I know, but I’ll never, ever…”

A strong fear crept into Abigail’s eyes.

“I’ll never go into the wine cellar.”

“Why not?” 

When Sally asked about the unexpected words, Abigail gave a hard answer.

“That…”

Sally’s eyes widened at the words that came out of her mouth.

***

While Sally was in the middle of a conversation with Abigail, an unexpected combination was secretly descending into the basement.

It was James Moriarty and Jimmy in the attire of the Brichester employees.

“Your resourcefulness is impressive.”

Jimmy shrugged at James’ words.

Earlier in the morning, Emily had called him aside and made a request.

“I’m sorry to bother you, but… Can I ask you to watch over Baron Moriarty?”

Of all people, it was Emily’s request. There was no way he could decline.

Jimmy accepted it without question and came up with an artful way to get into the basement.

This artful method was none other than to entice the Brichester employees with bribes.

“Employees are not as loyal as employers might think. You can get what you want with just a few words of encouragement, expensive alcohol, and a penny.”

With this method, Jimmy received two sets of clothes the servants of Brichester wore and an extra key to the wine cellar.

At around 4 or 5, when everyone was busy preparing for the evening banquet, Moriarty and Jimmy went downstairs dressed as servants and stood in front of the wine cellar.

They were stopped from entering the cellar, but when Jimmy insisted, the employees easily gave up and allowed them entry.

“I look good in a servant’s outfit, don’t I?” Moriarty twisted his lips and smiled, and Jimmy responded by narrowing his eyebrows. 

“It seems that the baron didn’t even look in the mirror.”

“Hmm? Do I not look good?”

The truth was that he did, but Jimmy couldn’t deny the reality.

The servant’s outfit was horribly out of place for James Moriarty.

‘Is it because of his blue blood?’’

For someone like Sir Henry, the heir of the traditional gentry family, his dignity was displayed through his manners and courtesy.

‘But James Moriarty feels like an aristocrat from birth.’

He had skin pale enough to show blood vessels. His sky-blue eyes shone coldly under the high mountain of eyebrows, and his lips looked thin and cold. His face was so handsome that no one could take his eyes off him. They made people feel a sense of distance and awe at the same time.

There was also the unsettling feeling the baron gave off.

‘It’s scary.’

James Moriarty never harmed anyone and uttered not a single violent remark, but just being by his side gave Jimmy a creepy feeling.

Jimmy shuddered slightly.

He also didn’t want to take on the task of exploring the storage room alone with Moriarty.

But how could he refuse Emily’s request?

As he sighed, James, who was next to him, said in a whisper.

“You should go in first.” 

“…Alright”

Jimmy silently opened the cellar door with the spare key he had obtained from the servants of Brichester.

When he pushed the heavy door, it creaked open, allowing the two to enter the dimly lit storage room.

“…Oh my god.”

At the sight that appeared before long, Jimmy had to swallow a shriek in his mouth.

He felt ominous before entering the cellar, but now his fears were confirmed.

When faced with the beings hidden behind the heavy and old wooden door, James Moriarty felt his blood cold.

“Ugh…”

“Uh, uh… …uh…”

“Stop it…”

Sounds similar to moans that did not seem like they were uttered by humans.

James’ mouth could not open in front of the people who struggled with their bodies as hard as wooden blocks, or as they should rather be called, ‘monstrous creatures.’

“… …!”

He could see Jimmy standing next to him, holding a scream with great difficulty. 

‘It was a good idea to bring him along.’’

At Emily’s request, James brought Jimmy here because he thought he could give him first aid in case of an emergency, being a doctor.

But if these people were his opponents, no matter how skilled he or Jimmy was, it was useless.

“Hegh…”

“Agrr…”

The strange employees repeated their mechanical movements without noticing the presence of the two.

“Jimmy.”

As James whispered in his ear, Jimmy turned to look at him in horror.

James spoke in a hoarse voice.

“They don’t seem to have good eyesight, so let’s go inside as quietly as possible and figure out whatever the hell they’re doing.”

Jimmy nodded instead of answering, and the two began moving– James moved slowly and silently, followed by Jimmy.

“Hagh…”

The moment that James passed the employee in the front, it felt like an eternity.

James looked at the side profile and was startled. 

‘That face…’

Something he had forgotten suddenly resurfaced.

Some of the attendees of the Brichester banquet had gone missing.

Many of them were young women of no known affiliations.

‘Even though the face is disfigured, it’s certain.

It was the same face James had seen on the missing person flyer.

James concluded that a vile spell was cast on the missing people to take away their will and force them to make wine.

It was unknown what type of magic was used, but the people seemed to have been in that state was a long time.

‘This means that there is something just as vile in the wine.’ 

Perhaps Sir Bridle is behind it, or maybe even he is being manipulated by someone.

The deeper James went inside, the more intense the disgusting smell became. It was so bad that it gave him a headache.

At that very moment, the two of them entered the deepest part of the basement…

“… … !”

James couldn’t believe his eyes. 

Inside the huge glass tank that filled the basement room, several tentacles were wriggling like the legs of an octopus.

‘Oh my god… …!”

James swallowed his saliva. 

While chasing his parents’ murderers, James encountered numerous cultists and experienced phenomena that cannot be explained by human reason… 

But it was the first time he had seen a scene so terrifying that it felt surreal.

Although he was startled by the strange creature he had seen for the first time in his life, he could not take his eyes off it.

At the tip of the tentacles was a huge thorn, from which a thick mucus spurted out.

“Hagh…”

After the employees scooped up the slime with a ladle, they put it in a huge barrel of wine and mixed it.

‘That’s the secret of Brichester wine!’

The terrifying tentacles were wriggling and dripping mucus.

At the disgusting sight, James struggled to suppress the rising nausea.

“…!” Jimmy, who arrived a step late, had a similar reaction.

James thought, ‘You can’t make a sound,’ and hurriedly turned around to see Jimmy, who had a pale face, covering his mouth, barely holding back another scream.

However.

‘He has already reached the limit.’

Seeing Jimmy’s half-opened eyes, James sighed.

Fortunately, the boy was a surgeon, and after seeing corpses every day, he endured it to the best of his capabilities.

‘Ordinary people are bound to be captivated by extreme madness when they encounter things that cannot be explained by human logic.’ James thought.

TL note: Hello! The schedule for the updates has been decided. I will post every Monday and Friday. For the next five days, I will try to maintain an update everyday!

 

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