WG – Chapter 84: Fear again

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I had Mitsuki, whose face the knights know of, ask about the situation with the encirclement of the mansion, and it seems like the Knight Order concluded that I am the culprit that set the skulls at the plaza in the 2nd day -at the night we left for the trial- located the place where I live, and one knight unit had come all the way here. 

And so, it seems like that’s when their long long night began. What I will be talking about here is only one part of it. 

This is what the knights experienced while we were away from the mansion; a true horror story. 

A knight loudly exclaimed their visit, but there was no response. However, there were a number of rooms with the light on, and sounds could be heard from the inside. 

The knights concluded that the man named Souma feared the investigation from the knights about the skull incident, shut inside his house, and was ignoring their calls. 

Their loved and respected Princess said to definitely bring the culprit to her place. 

Moreover, to think he would ignore this call despite having the lights blatantly on and making a ruckus. There should be a limit to making light of the knights.

They judged that they couldn’t withdraw here, for the sake of the Princess and for the honor of the Knight Order. 

-Without knowing that this would raise the curtains to their horror experience. 

They immediately noticed after entering. 

Noticed that this is truly the residence of a demon. 

The moment they broke a window and entered the premises, a piercing alarm rang. 

Hearing that sound, monsters that seemed to be golems made of strange silver metal rushed out. 

They were using guns that shot light magic and strange electrified sticks to attack the knights. 

Knights that should be highly skilled from their rigorous daily training were being defeated one after the other. 

Even when they escaped from the golems in desperation, the many traps that were set were activated. 

When they pass certain locations, arrows and spears would jump out. 

And then, the main traps that are set just right in the spot where they avoided.

The knights that were sure that they had avoided the trap would not be able to. 

Ear piercing agonizing screams. 

The knights that had come along covered their ears instinctively. 

When they opened their eyes, there would be no shadow of their comrades. 

Even so, the silver golems were on the path where they came from. 

Even when they knew there were traps, they had no choice but to move ahead. 

That mansion also had a lot of puzzle traps like a dungeon. 

At the same time as the alarms rang, the floor would segment itself like a mesh, change to separate colors, and you must step on them at a set order or you end up falling into a pitfall. 

Because of the requirements to become a knight, their numbers may not be high, but it is proof that they are seasoned fighters.

There are many with outstanding ability, and in those, there’s even those who have cleared dungeons. 

The knights wrung out their knowledge and discovered the patterns.

The knights would walk on that floor with the conclusion that they came to, and the moment they were overcome with that sense of accomplishment, they stepped on the last correct tile…and the floor fell off. 

The knights were falling while still in disbelief. 

And then, a message card suddenly flew out from somewhere. 

[There’s no way we would make a correct answer for a trap, right? Pfft, are you an idiot?]

What a lowly and underhanded trap! 

At this point, their anger had surpassed their fear. 

The remaining knights kept the fallen knights in their hearts as they pledged to definitely capture the owner of this mansion. 

But the more their blood rushed up to their heads, the easier they were gotten. 

Fearsome traps that took advantage of the lapses in their minds and, at times, traps that ignored the laws of physics attacked the knights. 

The knights that had come in small numbers had their numbers lowered one by one, and in less than 1 hour, the reconnaissance team was wiped out. 

The next time they woke up, they were in front of the mansion’s gate. 

The fortune within the misfortune was that, when intruders are caught in the traps of the mansion and receive fatal damage, they would get teleported in front of the mansion’s gate with 1 HP, losing all equipment and items. 

Even with their equipment stolen and feeling shame from having been defeated by the owner of the crafty mansion, they were happy that their comrades were okay. 

But it was too soon for them to be happy about that.

…Two. 

Only the two that headed to the 2nd floor aren’t returning no matter how long they waited. 

—There’s no doubt they were taken hostage by the master of the house! 

Thinking that, the knights requested reinforcements from the castle. 

Of course, there’s a limit to how many people could be moved at a late time like that, but they chose the elites among those elites, and formed a raid unit. 

After a few hours, they made perfect preparations, and the Knight Order charged in again. 

The traps of the mansion were as merciless as before, but having been able to gather information beforehand to a certain extent, and because there are more people than before, they obtained the key that was left at the living room of the 1st floor, and succeeded in saving the 2 that were trapped in the luxurious room at the 2nd floor. 

With that key, they can open the locked room in the mansion.

And inside one of those rooms must be the master of this fearsome mansion and the possible source of this turmoil. 

The spirit of the knights rose in one go. 

They thought ‘we will make him pay for toying with us’, and opened the locked rooms. 

But that was actually the moment when they truly opened the room of their nightmares. 

The moment they opened the door with the key, an unfamiliar black magic item rang loudly. 

Even though they could hear the sounds of something creeping about on the walls and the traces of blood, there was a monster that they couldn’t see no matter how much they strained their eyes. 

Also, a monster in female form with long hair came out from a strange box. 

Despite facing a threat that they have never faced before, the knights fought bravely. 

They hit the magic item with spells, and for the invisible enemy, they used attacks that couldn’t be avoided, and managed to slay one female shaped monster. 

But that wasn’t the end. 

The magic item continued to ring, and the blood handprints approached the knights with even more passion, and the monster that they should have defeated crawled out from the mirror surface once again as if nothing happened. 

They panicked and got scared. 

They don’t have weak hearts that would fear a strong enemy. 

However, no matter how many times they attack, there’s no effect. 

Even though the attacks should be hitting, they are not. 

Even though they defeat them, they come back. 

How can you even face such unreasonableness? 

Fear dulled their movements and slowed their thoughts. 

And that’s when they made the biggest blunder of all. 

The female-shaped monster had stolen the key they had. 

It ate the key like a beast, jumped out from the room, and ran away to the corridor filled with traps on all fours. 

But no one could chase that back. 

The traps that didn’t activate with the monster were dangerous obstacles for the knights. There’s still an unknown monster in the room, so there’s still the need to be wary of that, and most of all, no one wanted to face that creepy and immortal monster. 

No one knows if that was fortunate or not, but even without a key, almost all of the rooms on the 1st floor were now open. 

And all of those were, without exception, an affront to all common sense. 

They were on guard against traps, and at the time when they crossed the doors, they didn’t notice it, but every single room was messed up in every sense of the word.

The first room they stepped into had drawings that could only be described as weird covering all of the walls.

The state of that room and the drawings on the walls, how could they describe it? 

…The only word that came to mind was…madness.

Pure and with a dash of madness. Art that surpassed human comprehension and in a sense could be considered genius. 

There was a mad world there in that room that would make even the knights not well acquainted with art think that way. 

The abnormally bright red walls, the unstable building that would make your mind destabilize just from looking at it, had monsters that you would find hard to believe were from this world drawn there. 

The especially fearsome one was the grotesque monstrosity that was atop the red wall, with a bright red body dyed even redder than the walls around. 

It had an oval shape with slender and bent extremities, and with that unbelievable giant mouth so big that felt as if it could swallow a human whole was opened up. 

That was by no means a skillful drawing.

However, the warped ideas of the artist overflowing from that piece of work, the violence of that drawn monstrosity was crossing the walls of dimension and transmitting it to the ones who catch sight of it. 

And they could hear an auditory hallucination of: ‘Do you like it?’.

There’s no way they would like something like that. 

There’s no way they can maintain their sanity in a room like this. 

Even when they tried to hold that desire back, they ended up thinking like that at some point in time. Unable to endure the fear, they pretended not to notice. 

This must be the God of the cultist and the drawings of their ritual. 

These are not drawings people who love God would be able to see…no, only cultists would be able to see drawings like this.

They forcefully came to that conclusion and left that room .

The next room was similar to that room in a way. 

The walls, floor, and ceiling were all decorated everywhere with small but incredibly realistic drawings. 

The motif of the drawings seem to be of the same woman. 

Just what kind of sentiments…deep-rooted delusions would you need to have in order to make a room like this? 

The knights were enduring the creeping uneasiness and indescribable fear as they looked at that room and the drawings that were plastered everywhere.

And then, the moment they noticed the identity of that drawn woman, one of the knights screamed. 

The many drawings of the woman placed in the room. 

It has the appearance of the monster that ate the key and ran away. 

They are currently surrounded by the fake appearance of the fearsome monster just now. 

The moment they realized that, they felt as if that monster would once again jump out from the walls…from above…from below their feet…

Even when they tried to take their eyes off, every single place their eyes fall into, she was there, as if there’s no escape. 

No matter how powerful those knights are, there’s no way they would be able to endure being in a room like that. 

The knight that was by the side of the exit was the first one to jump out of it, and the others soon followed after.

There are still traps at the corridor, and the traps that had activated once would be reactivated after a set amount of time passed. 

They should have been careful of doing any rash actions, and yet, there wasn’t a single person who admonished them for it…no, there wasn’t a single one who even thought of it. 

 

They nervously peeked at the other rooms. 

Someone who peeked into one of the rooms made a ruckus that the rooms was upside down. 

But when several others went to check together, that room was the most normal of all. 

He must have been hallucinating from everything that has happened. 

They let the man shouting ‘It is true. It really was upside-down’ outside, and they thought that was it for this one. 

But people who were saying the same thing would appear every now and then. 

Peeking at that room was prohibited from that point on. 

There was a room that had paintings hung at the walls that would mess up your sense of distance, and the moment you enter the room, you wouldn’t be able to tell where you are anymore. 

One of the knights that was at the end of his wits was in that room for a long time investigating, and he eventually vomited. 

There was also a room that was made with hearts as its motif; everything heart shaped. 

There’s a big pedestal in the middle, and they confirmed that it is a pedestal where they would tie up a sacrifice, would spin around, and light and sounds would fill up the place as it did. 

The knights were sure that this was a ritual room for the cultists. 

In the time they were investigating the rooms in this fashion, the traps in the mansion were taking victims one after the other. 

Even if they didn’t get lethal damage and were simply thrown back in front of the mansion with 1 HP, the pain and fear they received was the real deal. 

The hearts of the knights were on the verge of breaking at the way too abnormal mansion. 

Thinking that this must not continue on, the captain and the others proposed to have a few of them take a break, have a meal, and take a bath at the bathroom inside the mansion in shifts. 

Of course, they would only carry their weapons to the bath and take off their armor. 

Showing such a defenseless state in enemy territory would normally be unthinkable.

But plain resting wouldn’t be enough in order to heal their way too on edge mental state.

They have to create the impression that there’s a safe place in this mansion at once. 

This was the plan of the captain. 

But that thought of his came to bite him back. 

Despite them having their weapons and leaving completely armed knights on watch at the dressing room right closeby, the people inside had disappeared at some point in time. 

That’s right, they had taken fatal damage at some unknown point in time and were thrown out in front of the gate completely naked.

According to what those knights said, there weren’t any suspicious presences in the bathroom. 

Just in case, they sent a group of 3 there, but because nothing happened, they ended up relaxing, and lowered their guard at the unexpected comfort of the bathtub, and at almost the same time, they felt as if their consciousness grew distant. 

The next time they woke up, they were already lying down outside, naked. 

That reality weighed heavily in the hearts of the knights. 

Doubts that maybe there’s no safe place in this mansion. 

Fear that they might get killed just like them without even noticing. 

And there was one certainty that was growing in the hearts of the knights wandering in the mansion. 

They had thought of the possibility since the moment they saw the black skulls.

But even when they spoke it out, they didn’t believe it deep in their hearts. 

‘There’s no way they exist’, is what they thought. 

However, now they can say with conviction. 

—This is the residence of a cultist.

What further reaffirmed the suspicions of the knights and shocked them was the reality that there were faint signs of people living here.

The man called Souma has been sleeping in this mansion.

You would have to be a cultist…no, even a cultist, as long as you have a sane mind, you wouldn’t be able to stay here for even a night. 

If this mansion had been used temporarily as an altar for dark rituals, or as a battlefield to defeat knights like them, or to raise monsters, they would have been able to understand it a bit. 

But would there be a person that would think about living here even after seeing this space where monsters wander, where you can hear screams every few minutes, and where there are those mad drawings that can destroy your psyche?

If there really is someone like that, they are already residents of the world of madness themselves.

A certain type of ‘monstrosity’ that deviates from humanity. 

According to prior investigations, the man named Souma had bought this property a few days ago. 

The one in charge of this building had not come to this mansion before, and had not gone to do maintenance or anything.

Was this mansion related to cultists from way before, or did the man named Souma use repulsive means to turn this place into a monster mansion? They don’t know.

But what they do know is that they at least lived there for a few days…no, just by being able to live here was already enough for them to suspect there’s no room of doubt that he is deranged. 

Turning their backs from the light, controlling fearsome monstrosities, they would zealously perform corrupt rituals every night; all for the sake of reviving the Evil God that is the root of all evil. 

The knights have the duty of protecting the nation not only from monsters, but also from people like that, but the reality is that they haven’t encountered people who called themselves cultists in around a century already. 

Or more like, the fear towards cultists had withered with time, and had fallen into the realm of superstition. 

But not anymore. 

The master of this house and believer of the Evil God, calling himself Souma, would definitely bring harm to this kingdom. 

He must be found and slayed at once. 

The knights pushed down their fear with courage, poured their sense of duty as fuel into their shaking bodies, and advanced further in. 

Continuing on to the 2nd floor where more disgusting works of the cultists must be awaiting there. 

A certain man within the knights that was proficient in stealth and scouting peeked at the 2nd floor from the stairs. 

What appeared faintly in the darkness of the mansion was that woman…the monster that went off with the key. 

The man killed off his scream and observed in more detail, and it seemed like that woman was trying to do something to the door with unsteady hands, failing over and over. 

No, not ‘something’. 

The man noticed soon after. 

She has the key. 

She is using that key to open the doors of the mansion.

It made him feel goosebumps.

Several monsters like that will be freed into the mansion.

That must be stopped at once. 

The moment the man was overcome with a sense of duty…

Something tapped his arm. 

Feeling this, the man thought ‘Crap, I was so focused, I forgot to report to my comrades’.

The man didn’t speak, so instead he turned his head to the back apologetically and…

…He was face to face with inorganic glass eyes that showed no emotions. 

He couldn’t speak.

What was standing behind him wasn’t a human. 

It was a doll like the ones young girls would play house with. 

 

It for some reason moved as if it had a will of its own, standing right in front of the man.

The unbelievable sight didn’t allow any thoughts to process.

But even in the time his brain wasn’t working, his eyes properly did. 

At the back of the man, in other words, at the opposite side of the woman holding the key…all of the rooms were opened. 

The man finally understood that it was already too late. 

At the same time as he did, small shadows covered the whole corridor.

Dolls.

Dolls, dolls, dolls.

A horde of dolls.

Those inorganic eyes of theirs all looked at the man at the same time. 

Emotionless smiles envelop the man. 

The man faltered. 

And then, the doll at the front, the doll that had tapped the arm of the man before, raised its head as if it were a living being. 

The moment it raised its face…the glass eyes spun around and…for some reason, two round things rolled on the ground…

— “Aaaaaaaahhhh!!”

The man that saw this screamed without a care for the world. 

The sanity of that knight crumbled at that moment, forgot about his duty and everything else, ran down the stairs while pushing off his comrades, all the way to the exit of the mansion.

Of course, there’s no way he would be able to safely get out of the mansion with such careless actions.

The man fell into a trap, got shot by the silver golems, and was thrown out in front of the gate. 

Even with that, the man didn’t stop. 

That man that was already no knight or brave warrior anymore was simply screaming his lungs out as he ran off in order to get as much distance from the mansion as possible. 

His comrades that were at the front of the door tried to stop him in the middle, but he shook them off and tried to run off. 

By the time 3 coworkers of his pinned him down, his eyes already had no light in them. He was simply mumbling incoherent stuff. 

And then, almost at the same time as that…

The knights that remained in the mansion had decided to suspend the second raid.

Even with that, they still hadn’t given up on suppressing the mansion…no, in slaying the fearsome cultist called Souma.

The 3rd raid should have happened.

But night passed, and what came from the castle first thing in the morning was an order from the princess…a petition. 

[Please don’t put a hand on the owner of that residence].

Hearing this, the knights thought ‘we can’t obey this even if it is the order of the Princess’.

She doesn’t understand at all the fearsomeness of this mansion, the warpedness of it. 

This could possibly become a threat to the nation as a whole. 

But even if they were to try and tell her the fearsomeness of it, the reality is that they simply lost all of their equipment and items, and they haven’t faced any casualties. 

It would mean that they have suffered no damage aside from their HP dropping to 1. 

This is something to be happy about, but with this, they can’t transmit the danger of this mansion. 

But that’s where the knight talking to Mitsuki laughed in self-derision and said: ‘Just kidding. That was a lie. All a lie. I think the reality is that everyone is just scared’.

Scared of challenging that mansion again. 

Of meeting the cultist who rules over that mansion of madness, Souma.

Even when everyone is aware of this, no one said anything.

Anyways, the raid has been suspended, leaving a part of the Knight Order and withdrawing. 

The ones that remained closed the perimeters of the mansion, surrounded it, and keep watch to make sure that no one inside gets away and to not let anyone enter. 

“Eh? What happened to the guy that ran away from the mansion? He unexpectedly recovered pretty fast from it, and has been working energetically in order to fix that shameful display of before. Even now, he is explaining the situation to the young lady of the Hisame family in this way…see?” 

And in that way, the long long story of the knight that faced the most fearsome experience among them had closed up his talk. 

These are the circumstances that led to our home being closed off. 

“Hmm.” (Souma)

Having listened to all of it, I groaned.

I do have my own thoughts regarding that. A lot of them. 

How terrible my treatment was inside that story, how to undo this misunderstanding, about how the woman in the photo was the one that came out from the TV, about how it is great that no people died, but they still got thrown out when defeated. Nekomimi Neko is strangely kind to NPCs at times, huh. When they were talking about the monstrous drawing in the red room, Ringo muttered displeased ‘that’s…Ringo though…’.

Yeah, a lot was in my mind. 

But the very first thing that I thought of was a more realistic thing. 

Basically…

(Just how much time do you think it will take to clean things up after you mess my home that much?) (Souma)

It was justified anger.

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