Chapter 34: To the tower
Early the next day, after he finished his work, he invited Liddellina and headed for the tower, which is now closed.
Howard worried and wanted to follow them, but to leave the work of the marquis’s house, he brought a guard instead.
Then the servants opened the entrance, which was firmly sealed with chains and a padlock.
And while the tower was open, the guard stood at the entrance.
The heavy door opens with a creaking sound.
“It seems we have to oil the hinges.”
Friedrich gave instructions to his servant in his usual calm voice.
“Come on, Liddellina, you look like you’re on shaky ground.
Saying that, he offered his hand to Liddellina without hesitation.
Although she took his hand, she remembered the disgusted expression when she touched him at the capital’s evening party.
It’s scary to think that Friedrich might remember the past.
It is clear from the fact that there were no female servants in the castle until Liddellina went to the castle that he was extremely hateful of women. Or was he afraid of women?”
Step into the tower. It’s dark and gloomy.
“It feels colder inside than outside, probably because the sun doesn’t shine. Despite wearing a coat, Liddellina shivered.
There is a staircase in the center, leading up to the second and third floors.
“Where do you plan to investigate?”
“I was thinking of starting from the top floor.”
“Why is that?”
She wonders if he has any idea.
“I found a map of this tower. I thought the top floor was used as a lookout, but it seems to have been used to imprison people.”
“I think that might be me.”
He said seriously, holding a lamp in one hand in the dark tower.
“No way. Isn’t His Lordship being raised as the heir?”
“Did you really think that about me when you saw me before?”
She is at a loss for an answer. She feels like he was raised more strictly rather than being raised with plenty of love.
He never laughed, and he was always a very thorough person.
“I heard from a colleague that when “he” went camping, “he” didn’t seem to like tents very much.”
“Apparently, “he” usually slept in places with bonfires or lights on.”
“Did you fear the darkness?”
He nods at those words.
“I was asked about it by the servants when I returned here. They asked if it was okay to turn off the lights in the room when sleeping.”
She has a bad feeling.
“So you think you were locked up in this tower?”
“Yes, I think so. I’m sorry to have made you go through this. But I’m afraid to confirm it alone. I can feel at ease with you here.”
Friedrich tightly grips Liddellina’s hand.
“What about Andrea-sama?”
“I trust him, but you are the one who will live with me from now on. That’s why I want to confirm it with you. That marriage contract was terrible, but when I saw the will, I was convinced. I may have trusted you, or even deeply adored you in my heart.”
Although it didn’t look like that at all, the will shows that he left an excessively large fortune. It doesn’t seem to be despised. There must have been some reason why Liddellina, or rather women in general, was disliked.
Liddellina slowly climbed up the tower, being led by the hand. As expected, he was out of breath when he reached the top floor.
At the end of the stairs, there is an open door and gentle light shines through the window of the lamp holder, illuminating the sparkling dust. It’s more peaceful than she thought, and she takes a deep breath.
“Liddellina, look at this.”
Turning around to Friedrich’s tense voice, the door across the way was destroyed.
And beyond that, it was closed off in darkness, and nothing could be seen. This might be the room where Friedrich was locked up. Liddellina backed up.
Saying that, Friedrich takes a step forward towards the other side.
Before she knew it, he had quickened his pace, and their hands had parted. Liddellina frantically grabs onto his coat and follows him. She must not let him go alone, she thought.
Standing in front of the door that was destroyed like with an axe by someone, Liddellina enters. The room is dark, and it has a rotten, unpleasant smell. It is a very poor environment where nothing can be seen because the room does not receive any sunlight.
“Husband, won’t you stop now?”
Liddellina whispers in a trembling voice.
“Liddellina, please wait here.”
Leaving Liddellina outside the doorway, Friedrich enters alone and checks the inside of the room.
As soon as he comes out, he tries to enter the room again with an axe in hand.
“What happened, Husband?”
“There was a board nailed to the window.”
She can only feel a bad premonition. The smell of feces is mixed with a faint smell of blood.
After several sounds of the axe being pounded, bright light from outside shines into the room.
I was dazzled for a moment, and then she saw the room in ruins, with the desk and the rough bed cruelly destroyed.
And then, the next thing she sees is the distorted letters carved into the wall.