“It’s almost nightfall, so why don’t we come back tomorrow and explore the area around the mansion in the morning?”
There was one person who was quite relieved at Marquis Comona’s grateful offer, but it was certainly impossible to find anything in the dark.
So we rode our horses to the mansion where we would be staying for the time being.
The view of the lake before the sun went down was very beautiful, with the surface of the lake shining in the setting sun.
I turned around and looked towards the mansion and saw a red-haired girl standing by the lake, so I stopped my horse and turned back a little.
“Fiara, what’s wrong?”
Judy, who was behind me, stops too.
“Oh, no, it must have been my imagination, sorry, let’s go.”
“? Hmm, well, okay.”
When we arrived at the building, we were shown to our rooms. There was a salon on the third floor of the building, which was also reserved for guests, so we gathered there for a cup of tea and conversation.
I was wondering if the maid who brewed the tea was over 40 years old, and I wondered if she knew anything about the family if she had been working there for a long time.
Wilt called out to her, as if he was thinking the same thing.
“Oh, I’m sorry to bother you, but have you been working in this mansion all this time?”
“Yes, that’s right. I’ve been working for them for about…23 years now.”
“So, did you ever meet the Marquis of Comona’s late sister?”
“…I have met the young lady. We only spoke once.”
“What? When was that?”
“Yes, I think it was the year after I started working here, so that was about 22 years ago.”
“So where and when did you talk to her?”
“As I recall…when I stopped by to pick up my luggage at the villa, I was just cleaning the front entrance area when the young lady approached me.”
“What did she say to you?”
“She asked me to fetch my luggage from the house, which was is in the lady’s room.”
“What was the young lady wearing at the time? Also, what was in the luggage?”
“She was dressed…as if she were strolling by on her way to ride a horse, which was a little strange because of the distance from the house. Normally, when she came, she came in a carriage, and was accompanied by her family or someone else…And the luggage in the trunk.”
“Excuse me, but are you sure it was the young lady?”
“Yes, there’s no mistake. The young lady had an unusual hair color and was very beautiful, so there could be no mistaking her for another person.”
“What did you do after you came to pick up your luggage?”
“She asked to strap the bags to the harness, and when the servant did so, she hurriedly rode her horse away.”
“I see, and you didn’t have anyone following the young lady to the house afterwards?”
“Well, I was sent out on an errand afterwards to do some shopping, so…Oh, my husband Balke at the time was still working here about three days a week, so maybe he’d remember something. Maybe he’ll be here tomorrow morning, so if you’d like to talk to him, I can let him know?”
“Then, please. If we could take a few moments of your time, I’d appreciate it.”
“All right, I’ll set it up right way.”
“After that, was there anyone else working there at the time?”
“Oh, about seven or eight years ago, this region had a bad flu epidemic that killed quite a few people, including the elderly, so a lot of people changed.”
“Hmmm, well, that kind of event makes it difficult to understand various things…”
Wilt put his hand to his chin and tilted his head thoughtfully.
“Maybe the reason she came here at the time is because of a story directly related to that haunted house. I’ll ask Balke, maybe he can tell us something else.”
The next morning, the Marquis of Comona sent for a man over fifty years of age who was doing menial work, called Mr. Balke, so that we could speak with him.
The day the maid said the young lady had arrived on horseback was a memorable event, and he remembered it well. Moreover, on the day the young lady arrived on horseback, some private soldiers, who looked like the private army of the lord’s house that the former marquis had sent to him, had also come on horseback to look for her.
”So, Mr. Balke, do you remember what those men were talking about?”
“…I’m not sure that’s a good thing to say…”
Mr. Balke seemed to be at a loss.
“Balke, I don’t have a father or a sister anymore. If you know anything about them, please tell me. I’ll take the blame.”
The Marquis of Comona approached him.
“…Yes, one of the men spoke without noticing me in the shadow of the stables…The man who instigated the young lady, as the master said, killed her and buried her in the public cemetery… After that, all that was left to do was to bring the young lady home…”
When he finished speaking, Balke said he was a little relieved to be able to talk about something he had been holding in his heart for a long time.
Eventually, we had to go back to the Marquis’ house that day.
We decided to look for a public cemetery nearby.
T/N: Because good things always come to those who investigate old cemeteries…
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