Chapter 16 – Room 102, Cursed Room – ‘Mansion of Fear’ (2)
[User: Han Kain (Wisdom)
Date: Day 5
Current Location: Floor 1, Room 102 (Cursed Room – Mansion of Fear)
Sage’s Advice: 3]
“Excuse me, are you finished with your preparations?” The butler asked from outside.
While hoping that our ‘terrible shit-talking session’ didn’t reach his ears, we changed our expressions and made ourselves look like we were just sharing a normal conversation before opening the door.
“Of course, we are all done. The mansion had such a great atmosphere that time flew by while we were talking to ourselves.”
The mansion had such a great atmosphere that we discussed how and where we would die for 30 minutes.
“Haha. The scenery of our mansion is what Sir always liked the most. Seems that everyone is in nice clothes to go hiking. Let me guide you there.”
Day 1 after arriving at the mansion – the first thing on our list was hiking.
It was a rather spooky mountain. Was it because there were too many unfamiliar-looking trees? Or was I looking at everything with a prejudiced mindset?
Everything from one to ten was suspicious. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one thinking that, and everyone was absorbed in sneaking glances and observing the surroundings.
Because of how nervous we were, our stamina dropped rapidly and when we were about half-way to the peak, everyone was starting to show signs of fatigue except for Jinchul-hyung.
“It seems that we should take a little break here.”
Everyone accepted the proposal of the old man, who appeared even more comfortable than Jinchul-hyung as if he was taking a stroll in the park without breaking a sweat.
“If you have nothing to do during our break, would you like to listen to stories about the mansion?”
There was obviously nothing to do, and stories about the mansion might have clues about the way out.
“Oh my! Of course. I was always curious when hearing stories about my big uncle’s mansion. Even this mountain gives off an extraordinary feeling. Is there something special as we thought?”
“Haha. Special… Rather than special, there was some strife about the ownership of this land.”
It suddenly became extremely realistic. I was expecting some paranormal story like a vengeful spirit that died 300 years ago, and was suddenly met with a 21st Century-ish story.
“The mansion and most of the nearby land practically belong to Sir. But… the law is not that simple as always. In all strictness, some places do not technically belong to Sir.”
“If they don’t belong to big uncle, then whose is it?”
“For example, the land starting from the peak of the mountain to the other side belongs to the government. The nearby cathedral is half-wasted now but it still belongs to the Catholic church. Apart from that, there is the small farm at the outskirts of the garden, shrines that existed from who knows when… There are quite a few ambiguous pieces of land.”
“Then would it be a problem for us to go in there?”
“Honestly, it probably wouldn’t matter all too much. As I said, the land all practically belongs to Sir. The legal owners of the land do not take care of them at all, so you don’t need to worry about that.”
Other side of the mountain, cathedral, farm at the outskirts of the garden, and other shrines – those places did not belong to the mansion. I etched it into my brain. Though I had no idea what it meant… it would definitely mean something.
“The view at the mountain peak is seriously astounding. I always go to the peak once every 2 or 3 days. Standing at the peak and gazing across the surroundings… feels like it drives away the turbid aura of the world.”
“Haha. You have great stamina, sir. I’m sure it’s not easy to go to the mountain peak.”
“I have been going there the whole time thanks to living nearby, and it is quite doable now that I am used to it.”
It was a light conversation, but the atmosphere was rather tense.
Like that, we panted our way to the peak of the mountain. The view at the mountain peak was quite good like what the butler said.
Although the scenery wasn’t astonishingly magnificent, it did feel very refreshing and was not bad for a rear mountain of a house.
We started climbing down the mountain when the butler asked about our meal.
“How would you like your dinner? If you want, we can prepare what we have at the mansion. But since you are from college, you might prefer eating outside as if you are on a camp. If so, we can prepare the food next to the stream.”
There was no need to even bother discussing it with each other.
As soon as I heard his offer, I immediately thought the campsite would be better for us to have some time for ourselves away from the ‘butler and the maid’. Of course, Eunsol-noona had a similar thought in mind.
“Oh my, that would be amazing. Mr. Butler. I think it would be more comfortable for us to play by ourselves. It would be great if you could have it prepared next to the stream.”
“As you wish.”
After coming down the mountain and returning to the mansion, we first looked for the missing Seungyub.
Of course, I knew he would probably be tactlessly chasing after the girl but we had to be careful. In a place like this, he might have died somewhere away from everyone else’s sight.
Fortunately, finding Seungyub was quite easy.
To be exact, some time after we arrived at the mansion, the girl wearing a cute maid uniform that didn’t suit her age showed up and greeted us, and next to her was Seungyub gasping as if he would soon run out of breath.
Jinchul-hyung looked like he wanted to tell him off, but we were too tired to waste any more time. So instead, we all headed inside the mansion to take a rest.
After taking enough rest, we went to the campsite near the stream.
Thankfully, the path leading to the stream wasn’t rugged and when we got there, there was already a grill that was perfect for cooking meat, as well as all sorts of beef, pork and vegetables prepared.
No matter how frightening the mansion was, it was natural for people to loosen up in front of meat! The atmosphere naturally eased and so did our expressions.
Jinchul-hyung who looked like he would give Seungyub a large scolding upon meeting him again, looked like he didn’t want to ruin the mood and ended it with some words and a few flicks to his forehead.
“Hah… Looks like this place at least doesn’t make you suffer from food. That is seriously quite nice. They push us to the brink of death but at least give us food. If they didn’t, we would have all collapsed already.”
Hyung added after walking to the grill and picking up a tong.
“Oh wow. This beef is insane. Look at all that marbling! And the pork also looks juicy.”
“This looks like lamb. It’s my first time having it after coming to Korea. It’s been a very long time.”
After some harmonious conversation was the public hearing session.
“So, Seungyub. Did you see something while chasing after Ahri the whole day? Just letting you know, if you tell me you saw nothing because you were busy staring at Ahri’s face, or how pretty Ahri is, there will be no food for you today.”
“Hukk! Noona, how can you say that? I was just helping her because I thought getting close to her would be the best way to observe the mansion.”
No-one believed in him but we didn’t bother quarrelling about it.
“Okay, so did you see anything.”
“Instead of seeing… It feels like a strange mansion. Maybe like, 2 key points from what I saw today? Firstly, the mansion is very big but it’s strange how there’s only two people that maintain it.”
“That is very strange. Not only is the house big, but the land including the garden is also enormous. It’s weird how there’s only two people, with one of them being a child, taking care of such a big piece of land.”
“Also, they didn’t stop me from going into other places of the mansion, but they stopped me from going to the ‘study’. There’s definitely something in there.”
“I guess you weren’t just playing around for nothing. No people, and stopping you from going to the study huh… What do you guys think?” asked Jinchul-hyung.
“Not sure… For now, I can’t think of anything. Should I try forcing my way into the study? According to the setting, I am ‘Sir’s’ favourite niece so the butler and the maid might find it hard to fight against me, right?”
“Isn’t that too dangerous though?”
“Well, if something goes wrong, then the remaining people can survive and bring me back to life.”
It was way too brutal for a joke and made everyone turn silent.
“Come on. What’s wrong with all of you? I was just saying things. I’ll stop if it becomes dangerous, but if we stay still not knowing what to do, it is going to be the opponent that strikes us first. That’s why doing nothing might look like the safest option but is in fact the most dangerous thing to do. That is my theory.”
Did she become more confident by gaining a younger body or something?
Whatever the case, there were still too little things we knew about this mansion for us to come to a conclusion.
In the end, our meal time ended with nothing but the delicious meat.
Even though it was naturally exceptionally delicious… our strategy meeting failed to create any outcome and even Seungyub, who looked the most thoughtless out of our group, turned dark.
A horrifying cry reached our ears.
The reverberating cry of a crow marked the end of our conference as we silently stood up and returned to the mansion.
It was late at night.
In the end, they couldn’t come up with any concrete plans during the meal and the short conversation after that. Before long, everyone returned to their rooms with exhausted and lethargic expressions.
What was it that was supposed to be done? Seriously, everything was a mess.
Ever since the problems in Russia, she had gone and settled in Korea with her family and it had already been 6 years.
There weren’t any big issues during all that time.
There were some pros and cons to living in Korea but at least it was a relatively safe country.
What she definitely wasn’t expecting was that she would be pulled into something like this…
It was something she thought about every night, but staying in a frightening mansion like this gave rise to such gloomy thoughts even more.
It was then.
Her heart began to race.
It wasn’t that loud, but it was too late was it not? It might not have meant much in a safe place but the place she was currently in was probably one of the world’s most terrifying places.
Quietly – she raised the knife that she kept during dinner and hid it behind her sleeves.
Even if there was a problem, there would be people coming to help if she created a ruckus during her retaliation.
The footsteps stopped in front of her door.
Preparing herself to whole-heartedly scream if things turned south, Elena immediately pulled the door open in one go.
It was a mistake. The opponent was not an unidentifiable monster. Seeing the familiar face, Elena relaxed her heart and pulled the knife back into her sleeves.
“It’s very late though? Is there something you wanted to say?”
It was nothing much. The mansion was too spooky, and staying alone appeared to have been challenging.
Elena could understand what that meant, because she too was in a similar state.
Therefore, she started some conversations that might seem meaningless to settle her heart and spent some relaxed time.
With this, the long and spooky night should pass without a problem.
The next morning,
We discovered Elena’s corpse.