The person behind me.
“I can’t believe I almost screamed because of you…” I whispered in resentment.
Jimmy grinned and said, “Were you surprised?”
“Why did you follow me?”
“No matter how much I thought about it, it’s not good for a man to let a lady like you go to a place like this alone…”
Not good for a man.
“Why don’t you just say you’re here because you were worried about me?”
“Yes, I’m here because I was worried.
I heard footsteps in the hallway I was in earlier.
There was no need for anyone else to be here.
Jimmy and I exchanged glances.
I quickly lifted the tapestry hanging on a wall and found a hollow space behind it.
“Jimmy, this way.”
We hid safely in the wall behind the tapestry.
A giant man entered the room with loud footsteps.
His head was abnormally large, and his rough-looking skin was as dark as a corpse’s.
His eyes were out of focus, and his arms were as thick as a wooden ball.
It was evident blood wasn’t flowing properly.
He approached the coffin with a robot-like gait as if being manipulated by someone.
The man slowly lifted the lid of the coffin with a blank face.
Holding our breath, Jimmy and I watched what the man was about to do.
“That thing,” whispered Jimmy who noticed the sparkling object in the man’s right hand.
“What’s he doing with that scalpel?”
We soon found out the answer.
…The man began to stab whatever was in the coffin, presumably a corpse.
While Jimmy was shocked, I didn’t take my eyes off of the man.
He soon took out something like a syringe and injected a blue liquid into the body.
Then he grabbed something from a bowl and rubbed it on the body’s face and sprinkled dirt from a bag he brought in from somewhere.
Finally, after finishing the preparations, the man began to chant a prayer of some sort.
“My father in heaven… Bring the perfect, complete chaos down to this world…”
The phrase itself was grotesque.
And the prayer, which was spoken in English at first, began to be uttered in an unknown language.
“Sebehy er rut ta desheret…”
A guttural pronunciation from one’s throat.
That alone gave me chills as if my hair was going to stand on end.
“Iw iyin s n kekw…”
The corpse looked like it just sprung out of its grave while covered in dirt.
Perhaps a long time had passed since it had died; the body was green and its blue face was stained with dried blood.
“What the…” Jimmy gasped.
“That’s… That’s… Willy.”
Willy was his friend who recently left his hometown.
Why was he here?
Jimmy’s face was pale, either due to shock or fear.
He shook as if he couldn’t believe what was happening in front of him.
He started to mutter as if obsessed with something.
“I knew it.
I knew it was weird… he didn’t contact me…”
Before I could do anything, Jimmy ran out.
I wasn’t able to grab him in time.
Jimmy, angered, punched the man.
“You bastard! Willy… What did you do to Willy!”
The prayer stopped.
The body that was standing upright on its own, because of the magic involved.
It fell back into the coffin like a puppet with its strings cut.
Gnashing his teeth, the man slowly turned around.
Jimmy seemed to have lost his mind.
“What did you do to my friend!”
Despite Jimmy’s efforts, the man remained motionless, seemingly unaffected because of his size.
“If it goes on like this…”
The very moment I took out a pistol from my inner coat pocket.
A terrible scream resounded.
When I raised my head, I saw Jimmy being stabbed by the man.
Even as the light of his life quickly went out of his eyes, Jimmy still managed to speak.
“Please… Run… away…”
I had no intention of doing that.
“I’ll save you, Jimmy.”
I ran out of space.
The man’s attention shifted to me because I shouted on purpose.
Immediately, he pulled the knife out of Jimmy’s body and ran toward me.
But because I didn’t protect my body with anything.
The sharp edge pierced my chest.
Of course he aimed for my chest.
Although I felt the pain, the time of my suffering will be over soon.
When he pulled out the knife that stabbed my chest, blood gushed out.
I aimed my pistol straight at the smiling man with a disgusting face.
It didn’t matter since I would come back to life anyway.
“What…” The man eyes were filled with fear.
It wasn’t the fact I was in pain… but wasn’t it unfair I was the only one to suffer such a thing alone?
The man stepped back, but I was faster.
A shriek echoing in the room alongside the permeating smell of gunpowder.
The moment the man fell to the floor with a thud, my whole body froze and my head was spinning.
After a while, I heard a familiar voice.
“Disobedient Apostle Emily… I will personally turn back your time…”
I almost laughed.
From the King in Yellow’s perspective, it may feel that way.
The King’s Protection, the infinite regression, was given when an apostle dies.
There was only one unwritten rule that must never be broken.
I couldn’t kill myself with my own hands.
An unpleasant sensation as if someone was trying to force my brain out of my skull.
I shuddered and groaned.
Helena, who was next to me, turned around.
“No, it’s nothing…”
I tried to say more, but I couldn’t finish my words while in agony.
“Are you sick?”
After groaning from pain much more intense than usual, Helena helped me lie down on the bed.
I took in a deep breath.
Don’t tell me there was a penalty for trying to kill yourself.
With a worried look, Helena asked, “What’s wrong? If you’re worried about…”
“No, it’s nothing…”
When I answered in a weak voice, Helena closed her mouth and stared at me silently.
Her gaze seemed to contain an incomprehensible emotion.
“You should rest, Emily.”
The moment I sat up, I asked a question.
“Helena, what’s the date today?”
“All of a sudden…” She was dumbfounded but gave me today’s date.
I realized I had returned to the day I received the invitation from Baron Moriarty.
What that meant was clear.
I had to accept his invitation and become his ally.
I sighed because I hated it, but I put the invitation into my pocket.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I didn’t have new memories.
…Well, some memories may have disappeared.
“Come to think of it, Helena.”
“You said the other day that my husband and I often quarreled three months before he disappeared.”
I didn’t hear much from Randolph, I don’t think.” Nodding, Helena continued to talk.
Randolph had told her that I went out barefoot somewhere like I was sleepwalking.
It wasn’t normal for me to go out without saying anything, and I didn’t hesitate to stay out long.
After doing that, I acted as if I didn’t remember.
“I didn’t believe Randolph at first.
I thought you wouldn’t do such a thing.
Then…” She furrowed her brow and sighed.
“One time I visited your house without telling you beforehand.”
Randolph, who had an unscheduled business trip, asked her to do it.
He was worried about me being alone, so he requested Helena stop by once in a while when she had the time.
“Was I like a child?”
When I clicked my tongue, Helena shook her head.
“At first I thought Randolph was being overprotective.
Then I went to your house…”
She explained she witnessed something strange.
…I was talking to someone in the drawing room, and it was someone unexpected.
My eyes widened at the name that came out of her mouth.
“No, it’s true.
You were talking to Professor Enoch Bowen.
“The founder of the cult known as the Church of Starry Wisdom, and an American said to be the main culprit behind the massive disappearance of people in Providence, Rhode Island.”
Helena looked at me silently before speaking again.
“You know who he is.”
“Yes, but… I don’t understand.
Why was I meeting with him?”
I only heard of Professor Bowen’s name.
There was no relationship between him and me.
“I was also curious.
After Professor Bowen left, I walked in and asked…”
My reaction was the same then.
“…I said I couldn’t remember anything?”
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