༺ The Missing Case of Silver Blaze ༻
Only a few minutes after the sudden appearance of Isaac Adler, who surprised and attacked Charlotte Holmes…
“… Why did you show up just now?”
Watson, entering the racetrack, was quietly mumbling as she glared at Charlotte and Adler, following her from behind.
“Because of this, Neville can’t come…”
Now that Isaac Adler had appeared, it was impossible for her fiancé— Neville, to join them.
It was undoubtedly because of Isaac Adler that things had come to this point.
That’s why Watson – who had to urgently send a message to fiancé, using her portable typewriter, to prevent him from meeting with the son of a bitch – was in a rather foul mood.
“Holmes, do you really need to hold onto him?”
Considering the current situation, it would have been better if Charlotte had just moderately engaged with Adler and then instructed him to leave, letting him off the hook…
“Even with those hideous handcuffs?”
However, she had conjured handcuffs with black mana, binding both Adler’s and her own wrists together.
“Watson, this is to prevent accidents in advance.”
Seeing that, Watson stared at her with a skeptical look on her face, causing Charlotte Holmes to avoid her gaze and start explaining her reasoning.
“The reason Adler appeared here is clearly because something is definitely going to happen in this place. So, it’s only logical to keep a close watch on him.”
“But then, why did you ask me to come along as well?”
“Don’t you remember what I said earlier?”
Watson let out a sigh, wondering about the reason that had caused Charlotte’s return to her friendly tone.
“… The three of us, together.”
“Yes, the current situation might be an extension of the case I was investigating.”
Charlotte added softly, looking at Adler.
“Perhaps, you, my dear friend, might be at the center of this case as well.”
“What are you talking about?”
“… You don’t need to know.”
She spoke with a seemingly serious expression plastered on her face.
“In any case, what I’m doing now is something that must be done for the safety of you and everyone else.”
Charlotte was right, logically speaking. At least, Watson couldn’t tell if there was anything wrong with what she had said.
“Let me suck some more of your blood.”
However, the moment Adler, who had been leaning on Charlotte’s shoulder, began to bite her neck with his eyes shining in a red hue again, Watson thought that such matters probably didn’t matter.
“Don’t make a sound.”
“… It hurts.”
For some reason, other than the fact that Adler was aggressive and Charlotte had been far more defensive and meeker than usual, they looked like a regular couple showing affection to each other.
“… Your hair smells good, Charlotte.”
“Don’t say such things out loud.”
“You’ve changed to a lighter perfume. You’re doing your makeup well now.”
Despite the burning stares from those around them, Adler kept on whispering sweet nothings, and Charlotte quietly turned her gaze to the side and stepped on his foot.
“You look pretty when you dress up.”
Nevertheless, Adler whispered to her with an excited smile on his face.
“But, who did you dress up for?”
“Adler, don’t get the wrong idea.”
Charlotte, who was momentarily left speechless, turned her head to the side and spoke in a cold tone.
“I don’t love you. It’s just…”
Then, she hesitated for a moment.
“… I just want to win.”
“I’m simply using any means and methods necessary to win. So, stop being so deluded.”
In response to her cold words, Adler replied with a voice mixed with amusement.
“I’ve never been deluded.”
“I will do whatever it takes because I like you.”
“Unrequited love is tough indeed.”
Then, Adler quietly leaned his head against her cheek.
“… Get away.”
“So, will you release this now?”
Charlotte tried to push him away with a cold expression, but Adler, showing his handcuffed arm, clung to her with far more intimacy.
“This is how it feels to be on pounced on, Charlotte.”
It felt like a mood where Adler was pressing forward and Charlotte was showing her distaste for his actions.
But to Watson, who was watching from a distance, the situation was as clear as day…
Despite the obvious fact that Charlotte could easily shake Adler off, she gritted her teeth and pretended she couldn’t.
‘… She’s totally playing along.’
The slight blush on her cheeks was just a bonus indication of her farce.
‘What in the world did she see in such a trashy man? I would get goosebumps even if he touches a single hair of mine, let alone having skinship.’
If Watson had been in Charlotte Holmes’s shoes, even if Adler had offered her a fortune, she doubted she could even muster a smile at him.
‘… His face alone is annoying.’
With that thought, Watson, who saw no redeeming qualities in Isaac Adler except for his face, glared coldly at him before letting out a sigh and turning her gaze back to the racetrack.
‘I should watch the horse race.’
Seeing Charlotte and Adler doing the same thing she and Neville had done, Watson felt inexplicably out of sorts, so she wanted to distract herself.
However, Rachel Watson began to tilt her head in confusion a moment later.
“Why haven’t they started?”
For some reason, despite the passage of a considerable amount of time, there was no sign of the horse race starting.
“Why hasn’t the race started?”
Scratching her head for a moment, she directed her question to a staff member in the distance who looked more than a bit anxious.
“Well, you see…”
Upon hearing the staff member’s response, she understood the matter in an instant.
“Silver Blaze was scheduled to race today but she has suddenly gone missing…”
Adler’s eyes began to shine quietly as he was naturally clasping the back of Charlotte’s hand behind him while hearing that piece of news.
“… Please stop it.”
Reflected in those eyes was the young face of Charlotte Holmes, who was pinching his hand but did not unclench her own from his grasp.
With her face still flushed, Charlotte Holmes, who had been looking down, slowly lifted her head at the faint voice that reached her ears.
“Did you enjoy that brief moment of pleasure?”
“What are you talking about?”
She then stared intently into Adler’s eyes for a moment, but soon enough, she found herself looking away almost involuntarily.
“It seems like you enjoyed it quite a bit.”
It was strange, just a few days ago she had felt completely indifferent but now, she instinctively looked away every time she met his gaze.
“If you’re going to keep spouting incomprehensible nonsense…”
“But, you’re not the type to be satisfied with such childish games, are you?”
Adler continued, looking down at her with an affectionate gaze.
“… So, it’s time for another riddle.”
Upon hearing those words, Charlotte’s eyes widened like a rabbit’s.
Then, unbeknownst to her, her heart began to race.
“… You had a reason to come here, even after your disguise was undone, didn’t you?”
“What’s the case this time? Kidnapping? Murder? Sexual assault?”
As Charlotte’s eyes sparkled with a mix of excitement and anticipation, Adler, who seemed impressed by her enthusiasm, reached out.
“You’re getting too excited.”
And then, Adler gently began to stroke Charlotte’s head with light strokes.
“If you don’t want to be completely devoured by me, keep up that enthusiasm in the future.”
Wrapped in a peculiar emotion and quietly accepting his touch, Charlotte soon wore a slightly embarrassed expression.
“What… did you do?”
For some reason, she couldn’t control her body at all.
“It’s no fun if you know the answer from the start, right?”
Adler whispered with a teasing glint in his eyes.
“… Wait right there.”
Suddenly, the handcuffs that had been attached to his wrist were broken and were now dangling from Charlotte’s arm.
“My dear detective…”
And just like that Isaac Adler gracefully disappeared into the crowd while Charlotte reached out to him.
Charlotte blankly stared at where he had disappeared until his silhouette was no longer in sight. Then, she slowly lowered her hand.
“I feel like a dog that salivates at the sound of a bell.”
She murmured with a self-mocking smile.
“… This is the worst.”
But contrary to her words, her heart was still racing violently.
If one were to pick the most popular entertainment of London in recent times, most people would point out the unique horse races where, instead of horses, demi-humans were the participants.
And if asked who was the primary contributor to the success of this massive venture, everyone would undoubtedly name a single player.
That individual was none other than the Demi-Human girl from Wessex, Silver Blaze.
With the innate speed and stamina of the Demi-Human race, a physique specialized for horse racing, and overwhelming skills honed through blood, sweat, and tears….
… Indeed, she really deserved to be called the best, making her currently the hottest gossip in London.
Her long hair with a mix of grey and dark brown, her robust physique unique to the Demi-Human race, and her striking beauty harmonized with all her features.
All these elements made her just as hot a topic as the public enemy of London— Isaac Adler.
However, unlike her usual dedication to the races, she suddenly disappeared instead of appearing in the scheduled race.
For some reason, she was in a secluded warehouse near the waiting room, clutching her head with a look of despair on her face.
Silver Blaze’s personal trainer, John Straker was lying on the floor in front of her, bleeding from his head.
“I didn’t intend to… kill…”
“I just… it hurt so much that I unknowingly pushed…”
For some unknown reason, Silver Blaze looked down at himself with empty eyes, seeing her own battered appearance covered in whip marks and a variety of wounds.
She then lowered her head weakly.
Tears, resembling beads, started to fall from her empty eyes.
“Sob… hic… h…”
All she had achieved, carrying the singular belief of improving the demi-human race’s treatment, was now crumbling in an instant.
After trembling for quite a while, she, with blood oozing from her body, slowly began to rise and head toward the window.
Suddenly, someone grabbed her shoulder.
Startled, Silver Blaze turned her head and then froze in her spot.
“A new riddle…”
“Who… Who are you?”
Isaac Adler, gazing at her with shining eyes, gently embraced the still-trembling girl and answered her question with a whispery sound.
“… Just a passing crime consultant.”
The next day, it was the beginning of the missing case of Silver Blaze that shook the entirety of London.
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