Settling the Affairs of an Atrocious Noble - 21
Settling the Affairs of an Atrocious Noble
In the end, I returned to the estate immediately after spending a few minutes in the castle that took a day and a half to get to.
But I guess I pushed myself too hard. As soon as I arrived at the estate, I suddenly felt a rush of fatigue that I hadn’t been aware of until now.
I dismounted from the horse by sliding off, so that I would fall off to the ground, then remained sitting where I landed. As I crouched there, waiting for the heart palpitations and shortness of breath to subside, I felt a nudge on my back. When I turned around, Craig’s horse, who had accompanied me on my reckless ride home, was pressing its nose against me repeatedly as if to check on me.
…Are you worried about me? How sweet of you.
I stood up while patting its forehead. Then, I took the reins and saddle off the horse, before finally giving it a thump on its long neck to show my appreciation for its hard work. It seemed to have understood my intention, as he looked pleased and nickered.
Being touched and healed by a pure creature restored a small amount of vitality in me.
I dragged my sluggish body and entered the mansion. Normally, I would see a number of servants and Karl bowing in unison, but only silence greeted me now.
It was all thanks to Karl’s dutiful execution of the order I gave him, before I left the mansion – ‘Make sure the mansion is cleaned up by the time I return.’ That butler wouldn’t do anything unless you told him to, but if you tell him to do one thing, he would do it tenfold. He did an excellent job this time as well, just as I had hoped.
I firmly walked step by step through the empty mansion. My body was nearing its limits, but despite that, my mind was calm.
I didn’t have any fear of death now. That was exactly what I had been working towards, and above all, I had already experienced it once.
In addition, there was no one to mourn my death this time, so I had even less regret. In fact, I felt a little more relaxed about it than I was before.
I took my time to make sure that there was really no sign of people in the mansion.
However, just as I would expect from the perfect butler, there were no people, bugs, or dust. Thinking that I might’ve just gone on a fool’s errand, I opened the door to the last remaining room, my bedroom. I took a quick look around the place, which was empty, as a matter of course.
This was the place where it all began – where my consciousness woke up in Heinreid’s body. Even here, countless memories of blood seeped into my mind, so I never got a chance to get a good night’s sleep; but for now, I was just grateful to have a bed.
I sat down on the black sheets, which were arranged without a single wrinkle.
The iron whip that was still attached to my waist, made a deafening sound. I thought it was a hindrance, but I was too lazy to take it off, so I deliberately drove it out of my consciousness.
I felt tired… I was really, really tired. I hadn’t slept well in the first place, then that tyrant suddenly put me under a lot of pressure, so I made the mistake of losing my cool. I had also guessed that he would’ve already noticed the impurities (me) mixed in with Heinreid, so I thought I’d act a little more obediently and… see if I could get some kind of advantageous information out of him.
…Ah, now I understood why the Marquis of Sekles panicked in front of me. As expected, if one loses his calm, everything may go wrong.
Well, for better or for worse, the beating reminded me of my position… Thanks to that, Craig’s dismissal went smoothly, so I wanted to think that it was a zero-sum situation. Though I have reflected on it now, I wouldn’t have any more chances to utilize what I learned from my mistakes.
I let go of everything I had, as much as I could and didn’t take anyone’s hand. I thought I did reasonably well in what seemed like a long time, but was just actually short.
It was quite disconcerting that the last remaining villain was not brought to justice, but instead erased by an even greater evil, but… I couldn’t ask for much. It was my fault for provoking that tyrant halfway.
Aah. I guess they’ll never let me die an easy death. It’s a fair price for Heinreid’s crimes, though.
At the very least, I would be able to get some rest, until the time they decide to come for me… so I wouldn’t go crazy this time.
A sweet desire for sleep tempted my mind, which was now free from the mental strain by being completely alone. Without resisting it, I let my upper body fall to the bed and closed my eyes.
I sank into the silent darkness, deep enough to the point I couldn’t even dream.
—I could hear someone calling out to me. Telling me to wake up. Telling me to come out of here. Their voice got louder and louder, a light appearing in the darkness, in tandem with the voice. It was a soft, yet strong light.
However, I was drowning in the warmth and comfort of the bottomless swamp, so the light seemed too bright for me.
No… I still want to be here, and I have to be. I can’t touch such a beautiful light.
I tried to resist the light, sinking deeper and deeper again, but… within the swamp, where no one was supposed to be, I suddenly felt someone grabbing me and forcibly pulling me up.
“…rd. …lord. My lord.”
Suddenly, my consciousness surfaced, and I woke up. When I opened my eyes, I saw the vermillion red light of the sunset coming through the window… and met the gaze of peculiar, emerald eyes mixed with it.
What the hell are you doing?
I was going to say that, but I couldn’t find my voice.
I looked at the Head Knight of the Guards… Craig Bauer, standing imposingly in front of me, with a look as if he was about to shoot me to death.