C40 — [2.3 – The Rose Manor]

 

Today’s weather was average, the sunlight was covered by thick clouds, the fog was heavy, and only a few beams of light filtered through, spilling down in the dark and dry courtyard, setting a depressing atmosphere.

 

Sitting in an obscure and remote corner of the manor, Jiu Shu was looking at the occult books in his hands, and only after a long time did he rub the corners of his eyes tiredly and decide to take a rest.

 

 

Today’s sunlight wasn’t very good, under such light it was indeed a bit too hurtful to the eyes.

 

From the occult information collected in the past two days, this world’s occult seemed to be flourishing.

 

Whether it was the aristocracy or the commoners, they were convinced that there were witches and devils and other evil existences in this world, otherwise those so-called count bathing in blood in the original wouldn’t have been spread throughout the country in just two years, and finally came to the ears of the emperor of the empire.

 

When Jiu Shu thought of this, he looked over the content of the original novel and found that it didn’t directly describe how the old count bathed in blood.

 

 

It only used many side descriptions and environmental descriptions to show that the old count became younger and more handsome day by day, so handsome that it was almost demonic, and then people in the territory began to find the bodies of many missing boys and girls, who all died of blood loss.

 

 

Looking at this content, Jiu Shu’s eyes narrowed, he decided not to make a conclusion for the time being, if it was really the old Count’s doing, then he would certainly reveal the clues.

 

 

In fact, Jiu Shu was still biased in favor of this being a frame-up.

 

 

Although the old count’s character was strange and brutal, he didn’t really kill too many people, at least from the original novel and his recent understanding, the old count’s brutality was mostly just his harsh and unsympathetic behavior.

 

From the depiction of the old count in the original work, it could be seen that he was a person with a very sharp and profound mind. He was a typical image of a proud aristocrat in Western literature, who was arrogant towards people of lower status, but in fact, his mind was meticulous.

 

Even if he really killed someone, he would do it very secretly and wouldn’t easily be exposed, and not spreading it everywhere like in the original work where everyone’s intelligence was lowered.

 

 

In Jiu Shu’s opinion, the ending in the original story was actually more like the old count didn’t even bother to explain such ridiculous rumors, but he didn’t realize that rumors were fiercer than tigers, and that he would end up dying due to his own arrogance.

 

 

Moreover, at the end of the original story, it was mentioned that the Imperial Emperor had a headache over the money needed to develop the economy, and after the old Count’s death, the Emperor suddenly had money.

 

 

With a full treasury, the emperor began a top-down reform, which not only calmed down the big capitalists who originally wanted a constitutional monarchy, but also consolidated the dictatorship of the empire.

 

 

The main character, Reid, who had inherited the entire fortune of the old count’s family, was also appointed as the Minister of Finance and lived happily with the main female character, Julie.

 

 

It was hard not to wonder if the death of the old Count was fueled by the Imperial Emperor.

 

 

Jiu Shu that it should be, and to change the fate of the old count, perhaps he could only stand on the side of the big capitalists and form a confrontational force with the emperor.

 

 

In fact, the old count was also considered a big capitalist, with a lot of assets under his name, only that the old count seemed to be more obsessed with changing his appearance than his career.

 

 

Jiu Shu thought so somewhat helplessly as he continued to think about his next plan, and soon it was time for dinner.

 

 

He got up and packed up his books and was ready to go back to the castle and go to the dining room to eat, these heir candidates were just like boarding school students, they had to eat at the same long table every day.

 

 

But Jiu Shu felt that those noble youths staring at him all the time without blinking their eyes was affecting his appetite, so he tended to fetch his own food and go back to his room to eat.
 

And just as he stood up, Jiu Shu suddenly paused and glanced behind the piers of the cloister not far away.

 

“……”

 

 

With his blonde semi-long hair tied behind his head, the slim youth had the androgynous beauty of a teenager, and the azure eyes he raised to look over were like the surface of a rippling sea, which couldn’t help but mesmerize.

 

 

However, it also made people feel intimidated and inferior, as if getting a little bit closer would be blasphemy to the youth.

 

 

Behind the pillars of the corridor, there seems to be someone who nervously tightened his fingers, and his dark pupils only dared to peep at this beautiful and incomparable youth not far away from a slight gap through the darkness.

 

 

Jiu Shu withdrew his gaze, his expression still calm and introspective, he turned around and left the place, ignoring that line of sight behind him, he went straight back to the castle.

 

 

He took out the jeweled cufflink he had picked up on the carpet earlier and handed them to the castle’s steward.

 

“This …… is!”

 

 

The butler seemed to reveal a look of disbelief mixed with surprise, and in the next moment, after noticing Jiu Shu’s thoughtful gaze to the side he reluctantly regained his composure and said that he would return the cufflink to its owner.

 

 

Then he left in a hurry.

 

 

For his part, Jiu Shu seemed to understand something, he recalled the gaze on the garden bench earlier and the person who was hiding in the shadows just now, and vaguely had a guess.

 

 

However, he didn’t show it, but went to the dining room to fetch his meal as usual, went back to his room and rested straight away.

 

 

And at this moment, in the room deep inside the castle, the butler who was calm and collected just a moment ago was standing in the dimly lit room, his voice trembling, “Master, your cufflink has been found.”

 

 

The windows in the room were blocked tightly by thick window screens, unable to let in a single ray of bright light, and the electric light beside the bed also flickered on and off, setting off the entire spacious room in a more and more eerie manner.

 

The butler respectfully lowered his head, trying his best to maintain a standard standing posture, but he still couldn’t hide the fear that came from his heart.

 

He was really too afraid of his master.

 

This terrifying master, who was extremely unpredictable in his moods, would order people to whip his servants if he was not pleased with them, and there were even rumors that he had a room dedicated to filling up corpses.

 

 

His predecessor disappeared without a trace, and it was rumored that he was disposed of by the old count.

 

Under such horrifying rumors, whoever shared a room with the old count, a gloomy and terrifying master, would break out in a cold sweat, and naturally, he was no exception.

 

 

Within the darkness where the room’s lights couldn’t reach, someone seemed to grunt coldly, exasperated with this butler who had suddenly intruded, and he put away the sketched portrait he had just drawn.

 

 

Hiding the elegantly browed youth in the painting under his pillow, where the butler could not see him, his movements were unprecedentedly careful.

 

 

Only after a long time did the old count speak in a cold and jaded voice: “What a useless waste!”

 

 

“It actually took so long to find it!”

 

 

“It was this servant’s dereliction of duty, but it was because it was picked up so ……”

 

The butler’s stuttering defense seemed to make the old count very dissatisfied.

 

 

His magnetic voice was low and morose, his timbre had a silky smoothness to it, but his accent was like a poisonous snake spitting in his ears, “I don’t need to listen to your incompetent excuses, the next time, your butler’s position will be given up.”

 

“Yes, yes.”

 

The butler’s face went white and he could only bow respectfully and retire, and just as he was about to close the door and leave, the old count in the room spoke out once again.

 

“Wait, who picked it up?”

 

 

“It’s, it’s the blonde-haired, blue-eyed candidate, he seemed to be called Angus.”

 

 

“!!!”

 

The old Count’s breath hitched and he violently stood up from the edge of the bed, but then, as if he felt that he was acting a bit deliberately, he sat back down again, but his pale back of hand seemed a bit tense.

“Come in and explain the situation to me in detail.”

 

 

The old Count’s voice became even lower, and the butler was so scared that he almost went weak in the knees, not knowing where he had displeased the old count again.

 

 

But in the face of the old Count’s gloomy gaze projected over, he could only stiffly repeat word for word the appearance of the beautiful, thin noble youth just now and what he said at that time.

 

 

“Is that all?”

 

 

There seemed to be some tension in the old Count’s always cold voice, and the butler felt that he must have misheard him, and that he must have been so shocked and confused that he would actually think so.

 

 

“Yes, yes!”

 

 

After that, the old count didn’t make a sound for a long time, and the butler stood in the room, almost paralyzed to the ground, only standing in place with the last of his strength, and glanced towards the old count with a fearful gaze, but ge just happened to be on the receiving end of the old Count’s gloomy eyes.

 

 

The butler was covered in a cold sweat all of a sudden.

 

 

“Hmph!” The old count seemed to be very dissatisfied with the butler’s stuttering way of describing things, but he didn’t directly drive away this eyesore in front of him.

 

 

Rather, it was only after the silence had passed that he asked as if carelessly, “Did he have an expression …… of disgust on his face?”

 

 

Or did that young man not even realize that the owner of the cufflink was him?

 

 

The butler was unsure, recalling the expression on Jiu Shu’s face at that time.

 

 

Since this candidate called Angus was really beautiful, he was very impressed, and if it wasn’t for the fear of being punished by the old count if he came back late, he would have definitely said a few more words to this rare and beautiful young man at that time.

 

 

“There didn’t seem to be anything special, he was just a quite gentle young man who always has a smile on his face.”

 

The more the butler recalled, the more he felt that the young man was really beautiful, more beautiful than Miss Julie, a rare beauty indeed.

 

 

And it was a rare unique beauty that belonged to men, a kind of impactful beauty that was very different from Miss Julie.

 

 

It was unforgettable to look at.

 

 

“He smiled at you?” The old Count’s voice began to grow somber again, and the butler nearly fell to his knees in fear, really confused as to what this master of his wanted to do.

 

 

“Well, it seems so.” He hesitated and answered truthfully.

 

 

That young man always treated people gently, and he didn’t seem to have a problem with showing a smile to people.

 

 

The old count sniffed and frowned even more, he remembered the melancholic look he had seen on Jiu Shu’s face earlier, that beautiful young man had never smiled at him yet.

 

 

The old Count’s gaze raked over the butler’s face, the nearly forty year old butler did seem to be well maintained and looked a little younger than him.

 

 

Young enough to be almost foolish, matching his empty brain.

 

“Wear a mask from now on, and if I ever see that stupid face of yours again, I’ll strip it off for you.”

 

 

The old Count’s voice was sinister, and the butler’s face went completely white at his words, answering yes in succession, not doubting the authenticity of these words full of murderous intent in the slightest.

 

 

This old count who had always been known for his shady and vicious nature in the empire would definitely do that.

 

 

The butler knew that the old count never joked, he bowed deeply, only wishing to end this torture quickly, wearing a mask was better than being stripped of his face.

 

 

But the old count seemed to still have something to say, and didn’t let the butler leave, the butler could only continue to stand in place trembling, almost scared out of his wits.

 

 

“Do you know ……” He didn’t know how long it took before the old count finally spoke out.

 

 

The butler perked up his ears in fear of missing a single word, in sincere fear.

 

 

“…… How to cheer up a young man who is not in a good mood?” The old count remembered the youth’s slightly depressed face, and his heart throbbed for it.

 

To the old Count, he would have given anything he had to see that beautiful youth smile.

 

 

The butler almost doubted his own ears; he seemed to be frozen for quite a while.

 

 

It wasn’t until the old Count’s cold gaze pierced over that he finally came back to his senses and racked his brain as he began to think about this question that he had never thought about before.

 

 

For a man of his age, with grandchildren and almost no contact with young people, there wasn’t much to know.

 

 

“You could probably throw a party, young people these days seem to love to party.”

 

 

The butler knew that even with the ban on running around the castle, the restless young candidates held private parties in private.

 

 

He’d heard it was rather messy, and some of the servants who cleaned up complained that the room was a mess after every party.

 

 

“……”

 

After hearing the word party, the old count seemed to become a bit silent, he was a man who didn’t like to be lively, and his unpleasant experience at a party when he was young made him hate attending these hypocritical and disoriented parties.

 

 

However, if that young man enjoyed it ……

 

“Go down and make the arrangements.”

 

 

The old count said, and in the dim light one could only see the lower half of his pale, bloodless face and the wrinkles on his face that represented old age.

 

 

The butler retreated as if he had been pardoned, leaving the old count sitting alone on the edge of the bed, looking down at the sketched portrait in his hands.

 

 

The young man in the portrait had a faintly melancholic expression, his eyebrows were narrowed, he looked introverted and beautiful, his youthful appearance was the most beautiful time.

 

 

Raising his head, the old count’s own blurred face was reflected in the mirror opposite him.

 

 

In this poor quality mirror that was not very clear, those wrinkles on his face that deepened with the years were erased, and he appeared very young, almost the same as when he was a teenager, and somewhat matched the young man in the portrait.

 

 

The old count looked at himself in the mirror in a daze, seemingly immersed in a beautiful fantasy, and did not remove his eyes for a long time.

 

Until the window resounded with the owl’s late-night hooting, he gradually came back to his senses, his brows wrinkled with deep lines, as if he was a little annoyed at himself for indulging in vain fantasies.

 

 

And again, he seemed to be spurning at the unpleasant thoughts he had entertained in his fantasies.

 

 

To that beautiful young man, any fantasies of a dying man like him were beyond disgusting, even to himself.

 

 

“……”

 

 

The room fell into a deathly silence, with only the backs of the old Count’s hands, which showed their veins, revealing the emotions within.

 

 

The next day, Jiu Shu woke up early in the morning to the news that there was going to be a banquet tonight, and it was rumored that the old count would be in attendance to examine them, the candidates.

 

After thinking about it, Jiu Shu decided to attend the banquet, if his guess yesterday was good, this old count might be a bit different from what he had imagined, it would be best to meet him just to judge.

 

 

Therefore, today’s Jiu Shu didn’t stay in his room during dinner time, but attended the evening banquet as promised.

 

 

Outside the castle, the sky darkened very quickly, even if it was only evening, it was already too dark to see, only the bright light of the castle lights dispersed the surrounding darkness.

 

 

Inside the gilded hall, Jiu Shu sat quietly in his seat, waiting for the banquet to begin.

 

 

As the master of the banquet, the count had not yet come, everyone could not start eating, and could only sit foolishly.

 

 

He lowered his eyes and seemed to be lost in thought, not noticing in the slightest that he had become the center of the entire banquet.

 

 

Almost all the candidates looked at this young man with either adoration or burning eyes.

 

But this young man with snow-white skin color just continued to sit in the same place as if he was oblivious, and from time to time someone came to talk to him.

 

 

Those noble youths who were obviously obsessed with the young man’s beauty were like annoying mosquitoes that would not go away.

 

 

In the face of their accosting, the young man only rested his cheeks with a dull expression and replied to them in a carefree manner.

 

 

His light blonde semi-long hair was loosely tied behind his head, with a little bit of stray hairs at his cheeks, making him look more delicate, compared to the rough texture of other people’s skin, this young man was so perfect that it was almost like a picture of an angel carefully painted in a church, without a single flaw.

 

 

And his cold expression seemed to indicate that he was not at all the same as those surrounding noble youths with chaotic private lives, his expression was a bit fed up.

 

 

In the shadows of the banquet hall, there seemed to be someone who slightly tightened their gloved fingers, wanting to step forward to smooth out the boredom on this young man’s brow.

 

 

There shouldn’t be any low emotions present on such a beautiful face, and if it was him, he wouldn’t have drawn such impatience from the young man at all.

 

But he could not approach.

 

 

The old count paused and withdrew his gaze somewhat timidly, not daring to look at the young man who was nowhere less than perfect in his eyes.

 

Compared to this dying body of his, the young man obviously had a brighter future, and his proximity would only bring misfortune to the young man.

 

 

Despite this thought, the old count couldn’t help but continue to peek, and he saw that the young man sitting at the table, who was originally expressionless, seemed to show a hint of a smile.

 

Not at him, but at those shallow and foolish noble youths.

 

 

It seemed that because someone had started mocking the manor’s old décor and tacky rose garden in front of Jiu Shu, those roses were all pretty much dried up, with only a handful of bushes still alive.

 

 

Only a dying man like the old Count would like them.

 

“I do think the roses in this manor are quite pretty.”

 

 

Jiu Shu replied calmly, the corners of his mouth hooking up out of habit as he spoke, with no excess emotion.

 

 

He himself loved roses, and the object of punishment in the previous world had often sent him paper roses, which gave Jiu Shu a special predilection for roses.

 

 

The noble youth who had spoken froze, looking dully at the smile on Jiu Shu’s face, and immediately changed his words, “Ah yes, I also think it’s very nice it looks like, it’s just that they’re all wilted hahahaha ……”

 

 

He loved roses.

 

 

The old count heard his words and also saw the smile on Jiu Shu’s face, although shallow, it was still gentle and beautiful, with the uniqueness and vigor of a young person.

 

 

It seemed to be more compatible with those young people around him.

 

 

The old Count’s fingers clenched violently on the cane in his hand, not knowing what he was thinking, only the corners of his mouth showing under the mask pursed tightly.

 

 

He never seemed to have a moment when he hated his old age and ugliness more than now.

 

 

He wanted to tell himself that it was normal for young people to be with young people, but he still couldn’t help but feel the poison in his heart, wanting to isolate all those noble youths full of desires, leaving only that beautiful young man.

 

 

Just as the old Count’s heart was churning with resentment and jealousy, not far away, Jiu Shu seemed to have sensed a familiar gaze.

 

 

His blue eyes looked straight over, and this time, he did see a figure that hastily avoided his gaze.

 

A very unfamiliar figure, dressed in a well-pressed and decent black suit, and a cane.

 

 

It didn’t seem too far off from his suspicions.

 

 

Jiu Shu withdrew his gaze, and a few moments later he heard the butler inform them that the count would not be coming tonight, and told them to dine on their own and then return to rest.

 

“What! He actually stood us up!”

 

 

“His Excellency Count Norman can’t fool people like this!”

 

 

“This is simply too deceitful-”

The butler faced the crowd of excited people, his masked face could not be seen, but his voice seemed cold: “If you are not satisfied, the Count said you can leave at any time.”

 

 

“Give up the candidate’s seat.”

 

 

The crowd was instantly subsided at the words, in the face of the huge wealth of the Augustus family, no one wanted to leave the competition.

 

Looking at the crowd with different expressions, Jiu Shu’s eyes carried a bit of contemplation, he narrowed his beautiful deep blue eyes, and his delicate face appeared somewhat calm.

 

 

This old Count’s demeanor was somewhat similar to the previous object of discipline, reminding Jiu Shu of the last world.

 

 

But he knew it was just his own reflection on things.

 

 

Regardless of what the old count thought, he didn’t intend to fall in love again, at least in this world.

 

 

Because falling in love wouldn’t do much to change the old count’s fate. Jiu Shu thought calmly.

 

 

It wasn’t until the next day that he changed his mind slightly.

 

As usual, he walked to a remote corner of the manor intending to read an occult book, which fit the atmosphere of the eerie manor.

 

However, this time, it seemed that someone had taken the lead in this corner.

 

 

Jiu Shu looked at the bouquet of roses that had been placed on the bench and gently picked it up, his pupils shrank slightly as he touched the paper surface of the roses.

 

 


TN:

I KNEW IT ☝️

see y’all tomorrow ✌️

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2 Replies to “C40 — [2.3 – The Rose Manor]”

  1. Thank you for the update

  2. FireFoxWinterWolf says: Reply

    Thank you for the update~

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